Why Do Christians Curse the Silence?

Today is Good Friday. The day we set aside to remember the brutal slaying of the lover of our souls. The day our sin was heaped upon him and darkness covered the earth and then it happened.

Love won. The veil was torn in half that kept us out of the presence of God. Death and sin were defeated and forgiveness was purchased for everyone for all time. Grace won. Mercy won. Love won.

So how can it be then that this morning I am hearing about how Christian groups like Concerned Women for America, American Family Association, Citizens for Community Values, Faith 2 Action, Liberty Counsel, Focus on the Family and Save California are standing up and speaking out against The Day of Silence? How did we come to this? How did Christians become known by what they’re against instead of “by their love.” I am sad. I am disappointed. I am sorry.

The Day of Silence is April 20th and according to GLSEN:

The National Day of Silence is a day of action in which students across the country vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools.

Given that according to bullyingstatistics.org, 9 out of 10 LBGT teens report being bullied at school and these students are two to three times more likely to commit suicide than their straight peers, how can this be a bad thing and how in the name of all that is holy can anyone who claims to be a Christian be against it? In my humble opinion, the Christians should be the first people participating even if their theology says homosexuality is sinful. We are sent to bring reconciliation, to set the captives free, to love without an unless. We should be known for our love not our judgement, hypocrisy and homophobia. Sadly we are not. According to Barna, the vast majority of non-Christian people age 16-29 — 91% — said Christianity had an anti-gay image, followed by 87% who said it was judgmental and 85% who said it was hypocritical. And we wonder why young people are leaving the church.

What is perhaps the most disheartening thing is all the misinformation and fear mongering going on. According to Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute

What the Day of Silence does is ask kids to refuse to speak during instructional time in class, that they have no legal right to do and no school has to accommodate that, and so that’s what we’re doing is asking parents to call their school, ask if students are allowed to refuse to speak in instructional time, and if they are, to keep their kids home in protest about the disruption of instructional time for a political purpose.

This is FALSE. On the GLSEN site it unequivocally states:

While you DO have a right to participate in the Day of Silence between classes and before and after school, you may NOT have the right to stay silent during instructional time if a teacher requests for you to speak. According to Lambda Legal, “Under the Constitution, public schools must respect students’ right to free speech. The right to speak includes the right not to speak, as well as the right to wear buttons or T-shirts expressing support for a cause.” However, this right to free speech doesn’t extend to classroom time. “If a teacher tells a student to answer a question during class, the student generally doesn’t have a constitutional right to refuse to answer.” We remind participants that students who talk with their teachers ahead of time are more likely to be able to remain silent during class.

Sadly, this type of thing isn’t limited to Miss Higgins. These groups would have you believe that The Day of Silence as well as other anti-bullying rules and laws that specifically mention homosexuality are really not about protecting these kids from bullying but are more about a political agenda. They say that they are “of course” against bullying for any reason. I honestly think they believe that. Part of the problem here is that anti-gay bullying and homophobia will not end without education; without people recognizing that we are after all, all the same. And for the Christians specifically, that we are all image bearers of God, even homosexuals. It seems to me that they are afraid if their kids realize that these are people just like them, they might somehow become gay when they would have otherwise been heterosexual. If you look at the science this just isn’t so. What is so is that these are people who hurt and love and dream; people who have contributed to society in many positive ways; inventors and scientists, writers and philosophers, doctors and attorneys, politicians and professors, brick layers and bus drivers – just like the rest of us.

Not that long ago in our history the same type of eduction was needed during the civil rights movement. Today we take time out to recognize the great achievements of black Americans, women, Hispanics, Asian Americans and other formerly overlooked people. Why? Because as a society we recognize that we fear what we do not understand. Education removes fear; Fear that prevents us from loving our neighbor. Honestly, I am not sure what it is that these brothers and sisters are so afraid of; You cannot “catch” homosexuality.

Christian Groups in opposition to the Day of Silence have proposed a few options.

  1. Truancy – Stay home and remove yourself from even being a part of the conversation.
  2. Day of Dialogue (formerly Day of Truth sponsored by Focus on the Family) – This event takes place 2 days before the Day of Silence and is meant to be a day where “excellent opportunity for students to respectfully present a different viewpoint than the Day of Silence”
  3. Day of the Golden Rule (This one I like) – Solution proposed by Warren Throckmorton and Michael Frey, I co-founded a bullying prevention initiative called the Golden Rule Pledge. We promote the application of the Golden Rule by evangelical youth as a means of preventing school bullying. They don’t stay away. They stay close. They say, even if I disagree with you I will love you. I will make sure school is a safe place for you. The Pledge states:

    This is what I’m doing:

    I pledge to treat others the way I want to be treated.

    Will you join me in this pledge?

    “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31).

So please, please on this Good Friday, let us not curse the silence. If you are a person like me, a Christian who believes that homosexuals should be allowed to marry and that people can be both practicing homosexuals and Christians, then, please, wholeheartedly participate in Day of Silence. But, if you are a person who disagrees with the objectives The Day of Silence, I implore you, don’t keep your children away. Don’t encourage fear or spread falsehoods. Encourage them to love their neighbor and participate in The Golden Rule Pledge. Everyone deserves to be safe at school. No one deserves to be bullied. They don’t want to make your child gay. They just want to be free to live their lives without persecution especially from the one group on earth who is supposed to be “known by their love.”

 

Additional Reading:

Anti-Bullying Laws Challenged By Christian Groups As Threats To Religious Freedom

Must Be Spring, Day of Silence Derangement Syndrome is Breaking Out

Gay and Lesbian Teens Bullied More than Heterosexuals

Study: Youth see Christians as judgmental, anti-gay     

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195 thoughts on “Why Do Christians Curse the Silence?

  1. I have been helping Katie with a study she is conducting on cyberbulllying in college. The results are pretty eye-opening, especially the comments from the students. Even in college, homosexual students are three times more likely to be bullied. But so many bulleys have low self esteem and even self-destructive tendencies, that in some cases they ARE treating others the way they want to be treated. Which is, of course, sad. So sometimes Romans 12:18 becomes a better rally cry in a world full of self-image problems.

  2. Romans 12:18: If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Yes. I love the Golden Rule Pledge too. People opposed to the Day of Silence without any other anti-bullying initiative risk appearing that they are in favour of anti-gay bullying. But then, some of them are.

    However, the Biblical arguments against gay love, as opposed to those against gang rape or the worship of Cybele, are pretty ambiguous. The Biblical arguments in favour of slavery are far more clear.

    More and more Christians are realising that there is no Christian objection to gay love. Those who do not show themselves as more and more ridiculous.

  3. RS says:

    Many things have been foisted upon Christians and we are supposed to simply accept it because we’re supposed to be known for LOVE. Sometimes LOVE is fierce. It tells the truth. LOVE is not some wishywashy everything you do is so lovely nebbishness. Love is willing to rebuke when it’s necessary.

    You write about Christianity. But you use words like “homophobia” which is only brainwashing. There are rare cases of actual homophobia, but for the most part what gets labeled as “homophobia” is simply a disagreement with a) the birth argument; b) the lifestyle choices c) not wanting gay sex applauded in public school. As a Christian, you should be standing for what the laws of God teach.

    Have you ever asked yourself, Who am I, to redefine Christianity into something which reflects what the world loves? What part of the Bible are you using to justify supporting homosexuality? Yes we are to love the sinner, but to call the sin “good” is not being a good Christian. You are embracing an agenda which has been laid out for you by activists who don’t even speak for all homosexuals.

    Love is not a giant marshmallow with no rules mentality. That is simply not love. Love is Truth and Truth is Love. Tell the truth, as it was taught, as it was delivered to the saints.

    • Actually, RS, I have researched bullying and homophobia. According to the numbers, it is rarely disagreements over birth arguments, choices, or views on gay sex. I used to be a public school teacher. It is about hate and bullying. The studies prove that. In fact, some studies even suggest that views like yours actually fuels more hatred. The world loves to hate what is different. Gays are hated because they are different by people that aren’t Christians. Studies prove that. The numbers, the studies, the Truth just not match up with what you are saying.

      I agree that the whole “not about rules and regulations” stuff does not match up with what Christ taught. But as a Christian, we should be standing for what Jesus taught, not the laws of God. The laws of God advocated stoning people for cursing God. Have you never uttered a curse when you were upset or injured? Then it is stones for you. If you can claim that you have never cursed God, then I can promise you I can find a law of some kind that would condemn you to death somewhere in the Bible

      Not knowing you or who you are because of the anonymous nature of your post, I can only go by what you put. And what you put sounds more like hate to me.

      • Whoops… last two sentences of the first paragraph should read “Gays are even hated by some people that aren’t Christians just because they are different. Studies prove that. The numbers, the studies, and the Truth just do not match up with what you are saying.”

  4. RS says:

    I profoundly disagree, and so does Scripture, with your position, Matt.

    Romans 1 and Leviticus 18 are not to be excised from the Bible. Now that the Messiah has atoned, we do not offer stones, but the Bread of Life. That, however, entails recognition of sin and repentance firsthand.

    The definition of sin has not changed. It is still transgression of the law. 1 John 3:4: http://bible.cc/1_john/3-4.htm

    What you’re proposing is not Christianity, but a world-approved version, and Jesus taught us that the world would hate us, and in fact, does hate proper Christianity, because of its reliance on the Laws of God, which Jesus did not abolish.

    Consider that the word “iniquity” in the Greek is anomia, or lawlessless. http://concordances.org/greek/458.htm
    This is the charge that Jesus foretells he will bring at the Judgment: ‘Depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ If the Law, as you claim by your statements is ‘done away with’, why does Jesus foretell bringing that charge against Christians at the Judgment? Because, just as he said, he did not come to abolish the law, and we are to “think not” that he did.

    Loving someone does not mean approving of everything they do, and this is a popular position, but it’s not Biblical.

    If that sounds like “hate” to you, and you identify as a Christian, then you are part of that modern church which is antinomian. That truly is not authentic, Bible-based faith. And ultimately, isn’t even truly loving!

    • RS, you obviously did not read what I had to say. I never mentioned anything about approving of everything a person does. I also never said anything about doing away with law. I said living up to the teachings of Jesus, which is an even higher standard than the Law. Most of your comments miss the mark, because they don’t even deal with what i said.

  5. RS says:

    PS, I taught in public school also, and I realize that children do have an aversion to gayness. I absolutely repudiate all forms of bullying, whether subtle or more obvious, and took great care to ensure that it didn’t happen on my watch. But have you ever considered that for some, that aversion is simply instinctual and not learned? Gay propaganda would seek to erase or override that, but it may not be successful, and in any case, propagandizing the children is not appropriate in a public school setting, and interferes with a parent’s civil liberty to bring up their children within a particular religious context.

    • Instinctual or learned doesn’t matter – it is wrong to bully. It is not an aversion. Beating people up is not an aversion. Spray painting faggot on a person’s face is not an aversion. This is just stuff that happened last week. Dozens of reported cases of extreme violence against gay children alone – and what was not reported? And in many of those cases, the bullied children were not even gay but just effeminate. This is not propaganda. This is not aversion. This is real hatred. Your language and calloused attitude show that you really don’t care about the situation and how bad it is getting.

      Look, I have had to deal with some pretty bad gay propaganda before. The gay man who told me all Christians should be stuck in the gas chambers that they used in World War 2. The “tired of God? Go Gay” fliers stuck on church doors. That is is real propaganda. The stuff you are labeling as ‘gay propaganda’ is just people trying to fight to be treated equally in a country that is supposed to treat all people equally. Telling children not to bully others, no matter their ‘instincts’ tell them, is not propagandizing. It is the way this country is run.

  6. Michael Ownby says:

    “the Christians should be the first people participating even if their theology says homosexuality is sinful.” I don’t know anything about the day of silence other than how it was represented in this post but based on how you’ve explained it, i totally agree with this statement! Truth in love… show ’em the love!

  7. RS says:

    It’s just illogical, Matt, to equate Scripturally-based views on homosexuality with bullying. I already told you how I feel about bullying and how I took measures to ensure it didn’t happen. But no, just to have a Bible-based view of homosexuality is to be accused of accepting bullying! We are totally in agreement with how dangerous and even heinous is bullying. Yet you still throw that charge at me, that I am somehow in agreement with bullying. A Christian perspective does not equal Bullying, no matter how many times that “equation” is repeated.

  8. DeeAnna says:

    From Matt, to RS: “In fact, some studies even suggest that views like yours actually fuels more hatred.”

    My suspicion is that this is why Christians have chosen to sit out the Day of Silence. When quoting from the Bible is labeled as hateful bullying, then by default some are protesting the Word of God on this day. Some Christains cannot willfully go along with being labeled as bullies, or allowing their Holy Scriptures to be labeled as such.

    I whole-heartedly reject the idea that Christianity is homophobic or hateful. I would not have been taught that God loves gay people if that were the case. I don’t think the world understands what the word “sin” means.

  9. Michael Ownby says:

    In light of our efforts to live out LOVE and even to boil the whole focus of scripture down to LOVE, I think it is interesting how scripture defines LOVE in certain passages…

    By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world— our faith. 1 John 5:2-4

  10. Michael Ownby says:

    And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. 2 John 1:6

  11. Michael Ownby says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever noticed that one of the ways that Scripture defines LOVE is “that we keep His commandments”! Wow!

    • Michael, I might add what Jesus said to this discussion, since he is the way, the truth, and the life, and John, who you quote, followed him:

      Matthew 22: 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

      John 15: 12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

      So to love God is to keep his commandments, and his commandments, in the words of our Lord Jesus, are love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and your neighbor as yourself … which Jesus said is to lay down your life for your friends. It seems that anyone who tries to define “commandments” otherwise is laying a burden on people that Jesus didn’t choose to lay.

      • RS says:

        kentkrabill wrote:
        “So to love God is to keep his commandments, and his commandments, in the words of our Lord Jesus, are love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and your neighbor as yourself … which Jesus said is to lay down your life for your friends. It seems that anyone who tries to define “commandments” otherwise is laying a burden on people that Jesus didn’t choose to lay.”

        The above is really a kind of doublespeak. A roundabout way of looking for a loophole.

        IF you love the LORD your God with all your heart, you will study to know His mind, which He has made plain through his prophets. IF you love your neighbor as yourself, you will be kind and considerate of that neighbor. BUT it is not LOVE to keep the words of God (even when they sting) away from someone. Remember: “”Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.” Proverbs 27:6.

  12. Michael Ownby says:

    Of course I also like passages like this one…

    James 3:17-18

    17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

  13. I find this comments thread disturbing. The post is about an anti-bullying initiative. No-one doubts that gay schoolchildren are bullied. We can debate elsewhere whether the Bible condemns loving gay unions, or simply the worship of Cybele and gang-rape; I think Christianity and the Bible equally, and the Gospel, all point to accepting gay people as God made them and celebrating loving gay unions.

    2 John 1:6:And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.
    NIV. So the whole verse says, walk in Love. Not in Commandments.

    What some of the comments imply to me is that it is more important to allow Christians to say that gay sex is sinful, than to prevent bullying. No, it isn’t. If a good Christian town all say that, and they drive a child to suicide, it is more important to prevent the bullying.

    RS says that there is a natural aversion to gay people, inborn in children. There was an aversion to black people in a lot of white people. That is not a good thing. Get rid of the aversion to your fellow human beings first, and then tell them what you think their sin is. Because if they are being bullied, and you simply tell them they are bullied because of a characteristic which is sinful, you may be seen as condoning the bullying.

  14. RS says:

    “I think Christianity and the Bible equally, and the Gospel, all point to accepting gay people as God made them and celebrating loving gay unions.”

    Clare, please prove to me where in the Bible we are told to “accept gay people as God made them” and “celebrate loving gay unions.” First of all, your comment implies that the Bible states that God made people gay. If God made people gay, then why did God give Moses a law against homosexual relations? Why did Rabbi Paul in Romans 1 consider homosexuality sin? Why did God see fit to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for their sins, which He called “grave”? Secondly, where in the Bible are we taught to “celebrate loving gay unions?”

    We are taught to love the sinner, but not the sin, and in fact, to lovingly guide the sinner away from the sin. We can’t guide the sinner away from the sin if “sin” doesn’t exist. What you are basically implying is that the Bible is lying when it defines homosexual behavior as “sin.” You may write your own moral codebook, Clare, but it would be your own, and not “the Bible.”

    I think it is totally disgraceful that calling something which the Bible calls a sin is now argued to be contributory to suicidal feelings in others. It shows a deep lack of faith in the power of God to forgive following repentance and to heal and change a person from deep within.

    Your message (quoted above) may sound pleasant to the ears of some, but it is not the gospel, and it’s not the Bible’s position.

    Gay activists have succeeded in framing the argument that God’s word is what’s killing gays. I see that as one more ploy by the Wicked One to silence God’s word. Bullies are not acting in a Christian manner, so you can’t blame the Bible for bullies. Bullies need a strong dose of real spiritual awakening. No one who loves God will hate another. It is not, nor has it ever been, Christian behavior to bully someone.

    Laws have been created to help protect gays. But this is not enough for some. Now gay activists would like to silence our free speech by pushing the LIE that the Bible is basically “hate speech”. This notion is patently absurd, and fortunately, Christians are starting to awaken to this lie and stand against it.

  15. RS says:

    Clare, you wrote, “So the whole verse says, walk in Love. Not in Commandments.”
    Clare, Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my Commandments.” John 14:15

  16. RS says:

    What would it look like to show Christian love to a gay person?
    Paul gives us a good description of LOVE: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV

    “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

    To rejoice with the TRUTH is to accept God’s WORD, which is TRUE. God promises to heal through His Son, Jesus Christ, following repentance, which Jesus taught. What was Jesus’ mission? In His own words, recorded in Luke 5:31-32, Jesus answered said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Jesus did not change the definition of sin. Sinners (transgressors of God’s laws) still need repentance (to turn back to God) to find healing in the Lord. This is an essential truth which many are trying (some perhaps unintentionally) to obscure! Homosexuality is defined explicity in the Bible as sexual immorality, and Jesus said that those who engage in sexual immorality will NOT inherit the Kingdom of God!

    Revelations 22:12-16:

    “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
    Blessed are those who wash their robes,[a] so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.””

    Remember, too, Paul’s words in Galatians 5:16:
    “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”

    It is also LOVE to take no delight in evil, but to rejoice with the TRUTH, which sets us free. Jesus is the Way. Seek His face, repent of evil, renounce the sinful lusts of the flesh, and be healed and saved! This is the truth — accept no counterfeits!

    In Love,

  17. DeeAnna says:

    Clare,

    I think you are absolutely correct in saying that preventing bullying is very, very important. It is also true that gay people DO receive lots of bullying! No one, not a single person on this thread (from what I can tell) is arguing that those kids do not need or deserve protection, love, respect, and open arms. This is not the debate.

    Please note that Michelle’s title in this blog is “Why Do Christian’s Curse the Silence?” This opens the discussion: Why on earth would ANYONE not want to participate in this day of silence? My point, simply put, is that some people believe that the label “bullying” has been placed onto some things which it does not belong to, such as the quoting of Scripture.

    Do all people who quote Scripture have noble, pure, loving intentions? Absolutely not. But that doesn’t mean the Scriptures themselves are homophobic, or that Christians by default add to the bullying problem. People who are being lumped into the “problem” category will automatically not participate in the Day. They are not invited to. This was my idea. I don’t understand why openly discussing Michelle’s own question is disturbing to you. This blog was about more than one thing, in my opinion.

    Also, just to parallel the verse that you shared in some other translations:

    ESV: And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.

    NASB: And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.

    KJV: And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

    Etc. I would argue that the NIV just *might* have added some confusing wording to that translation. Other translations might make it a little clearer for us. The nerd in me wants to grammar diagram this verse, but I don’t know how to do that online. 🙂 But I will point out that the NiV verson says, “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” You will note right off the bat that something is “wonky” about the translation here, because in sentence #1 you have the plural “commandments,” but in sentence #2 it is singular “command.” Either the Bible has developed a number agreeance issue, and can’t itself remember how many commands there were, or we need to look elsewhere to get the full meaning of this particular text.

    But Clare, I agree with you more than I can say when you mention the tragic suicide deaths of the kids. I agree with you when you say it’s not more important to tell them that they’re “living in sin” than it is to protect them from being hurt by unloving people. And I think this is where RS and I differ; my argument is that the Bible doesn’t belong in the bullying discussion at all!! The Bible is not the source of the bullying, and doesn’t deserve to be listed amongst the numerous problems. That is MY point. Of course you love someone before you “Gospel” them. Of course when a child comes to you because they’ve been hurt you don’t respond with, “That’s because you’re gay.” Nobody is saying that! The only correct response is to love, embrace, and to protect. Period. Doesn’t matter WHY someone is being attacked. It really and truly doesn’t. So I agree with you when you say what matters is keeping them safe, first and foremost. Of course you stop the bullying before you have the privelege of speaking Truth into their lives. And whether or not they hear and accept that Truth has nothing to do with whether or not I continue to love them. I love them no matter what. Never, ever did I mean to give the impression otherwise, and I apologize to you if I did.

    I simply meant to toss around some ideas in answer to Michelle’s question.

    • RS says:

      Well said, DeeAnna. I agree with your points.

      I just want to add that the term, “Homophobia” is an actual psychiatric condition, but it is actually very, very rare. Gay activists have used that term, however, to lump everyone together who might have issues with homosexuality, such as religious conservatives.

      If you research the relationship between psychiatry and homosexuality, you learn that it was gay activists who demanded that homosexuality be removed from the diagnostic manual, the DSM. They demanded this at a psychiatry convention of the APA in 1973. It was a time of people making demands and having their perspectives carrying the day.

      “Kameny and his supporters famously picketed the White House in 1965 for gay rights, and later lobbied the American Psychiatric Association to cease describing homosexuality as a mental disorder. As Reuters reports, “Kameny described December 15, 1973, the date when the Association made the change, as the day that “we were cured en masse by the psychiatrists.” http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/10/12/141276633/frank-kameny-pioneering-gay-rights-activist-has-died

      This move was opposed by several in psychiatry; however, it was done on that basis, not on the basis of clinical studies. So it’s a little ironic to now use a term from psychiatry which describes an actual but rare disorder and apply it to everyone who simply disagrees with the aggressive gay agenda, gay sex, or other issues around and about “being gay.”

      I agree with DeeAnna that equating bullying with a Bible-based perspective is error. Bullying is bullying and is wrong on every level at every time, period.

      • RS and DeeAnna,

        You would agree that there are some people who use the Bible to bully gays, right? Westboro Baptist Church clearly bully’s gays with the Bible. Just because you quote verses doesn’t mean you aren’t bullying people. I have bullied people many times over the years while quoting the Bible. I have repented for these sins. But that does not excuse my behavior. Those of us who follow Christ are admonished to speak the truth in love. I am sure you would agree that a follower of Christ can speak the truth without love, right? When we do so, it isn’t the Bible’s fault, of course. It is ours. Regardless, at times quoting from the Bible is labeled as hateful bullying precisely because it is, indeed, hateful bullying. Again, Westboro Baptist is the perfect example (of imperfect, disgusting, hateful bullying).

      • As I sat here and posted my last comment, I thought of the KKK quoting the Bible as they lynched blacks. I thought of the pharisees quoting Scripture as they crucified Jesus. I thought of the devil quoting Scripture as he tempted Jesus. Of course people (and even spirits) can bully while quoting the Bible.

      • RS says:

        From the article you cited:

        “Spitzer’s study, Arana noted in his article, was based on 200 interviews with so-called “ex-gay” patients, the largest sample amassed at that point. Though it did not make any specific claims about ex-gay therapy’s success rate, Spitzer’s “Can Some Gay Men and Lesbians Change Their Sexual Orientation? 200 Participants Reporting a Change from Homosexual to Heterosexual Orientation” originally concluded that it had, in fact, worked “for a highly select group of motivated individuals.”

        I guess “motivated” is still key.

        But whether or not changing orientation is possible, as a topic, is going into another direction entirely and personally, it’s not something I’m interested in debating here…

        Let me just say that as long as the rhetoric is being played by gay activists that to express the Bible’s view of homosexuality as sin is equal to “homophobia” or “hate speech”, then Christians should NOT participate in DOS-type efforts.

        There should definitely be far more outreach into the gay community, but this outreach would actually be hampered by Christians refusing to address the “sin” issue for fear of offending, or just for fear of being different from the world. There is a kind of friendship with the world which IS enmity with Christ.

        To love is also to protect, and we should be protecting gays from bullying and other unnecessary hurt. But we also need to protect our own civil and religious liberties and there should not even be an either/or argument.

    • I do not believe the day of silence has anything to do with Christianity or the Bible. Here is what is said on the web site:

      “A silent demonstration can be a peaceful way to bring urgent attention to an important issue. Silence as a method of organizing is much different than silence that is coerced or forced through oppressive bullying, harassment and intimidation. A silent demonstration is active, rather than passive, and causes people to pay attention. Silent demonstrations can:

      -Bring attention to an issue and encourage reflection on the issue;
      -Simulate the how others are silenced;
      -Focus the attention on the issue or cause and not the protester;
      -Demonstrate that the demonstrators desire peaceful resolution;
      -Spark discussion and dialogue.”

      It says nothing about silencing discussion of the Bible. It says nothing about silencing Christians. I asked why do Christians curse the silence because the Christians have made this about them. It isn’t about the Christians (unless a particular bullied gay student happens to be Christian or unless the Christain is doing the bullying by yelling, calling names, being violent or other bullying behavior).

  18. Michael Ownby says:

    lol! I had no idea posting a few scriptures about love and peace would spark so much debate, but I’m not sorry it did! 🙂

    Clare,
    “What some of the comments imply to me is that it is more important to allow Christians to say that gay sex is sinful, than to prevent bullying.” …I hope, and fully believe that this was not directed at my posts. Nor will I assume that when you say you find this comment thread disturbing, you are in any way saying that you find the scriptures I quoted to be disturbing. Certainly the title of this blog opens up the discussion to be inclusive of Christianity, and the scriptures, and based on the whole of the discussion on this comment thread, I thought it would also be an appropriate forum to post a couple of Scriptures that had recently caused me to think a bit deeper about what LOVE is. I think that we have to let the whole of scripture interpret what LOVE truly is, rather than relying on our own limited perspectives. Yes, none of what I posted had to do w/ Bullying… My comments dealt more with the comments to this post than it did with the post itself. Ultimately, what I love about scripture is that I didn’t tell anyone what to think. I simply shared the scriptures and will trust the Holy Spirit to do his work. I myself am still processing, so I wouldn’t dare tell anyone else how to interpret what I posted.

    If I haven’t already said… I hate bullying and I love gay people. : p
    Those that know me (like the Krabills), know that about me.

      • RS says:

        kentkrabill, you are exactly right that someone can quote the Bible and it can be “bullying.” Like yourself, I can remember “beating someone with words”. It wasn’t Scripture in that case, but trying to persuade someone of animal-rights issues, but you provided plenty of examples of when quoting Scripture can be a form of bullying.

        Definitely I agree that no one is receptive to words of admonishment without love. Love is paramount, but the concept bears examining. What sometimes passes for loving our neighbor may be in reality postponing the inevitable. We need to remember that while our arms can comfort and our words can be healing, the real work of healing does not belong to US. JESUS, through the power of God’s Holy Spirit, HEALS. If the person does not know what his/her sin is, will they experience repentance and then divine reconciliation? Remember, Romans 1 describes the wrath of God as being upon those who have given themselves over to sinful lusts — of all types, whether hetero or homo sexual.

        We have abundant examples in Scripture (both OT and NT) that repentance is KEY. Consciousness of sin and the misery it spawns leads to repentance. Always deferring the idea of “hurt” as something being caused from without can muddy an important issue: that what we choose to do, and whom we choose to serve, has everything to do with our level of happiness in life. (Doesn’t mean we won’t be bullied, either, as every martyr for Christ knows.) If we repent of our sins, He is merciful to forgive, and wash us, and truly change our desire-nature through our being born again of His Spirit. This is the power of God, the miracle and the MIGHT of God. This is the solution to every problem under the sun. Why on earth would we fear sharing the gospel of liberation to every hurting soul. It is our duty to bring the medicine which is so desperately needed everywhere.

  19. DeeAnna says:

    Kent!! You’ve inspired me to really study this verse:

    John 15: 12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

    Specifically, the part about laying down my life for my friends. I always assumed it meant to simply die physically for my friends, but now I’m absolutely intrigued. I’ve a growing suspicion there’s much more to it. Thanks for posting it!

    • DeeAnna and Michael, I have been looking at what John meant in I and II John for a long time. I keep coming back to Jesus’ words in the Gospels, since John was basing his comments on those words. Of course, when we love as Jesus, we don’t just ignore sin. But it is interesting that love covers a multitude of sins.

      I am not sure what RS meant by “doublespeak” and “loophole.” I just quoted the words of Jesus. Regardless, I do know that Jesus wants me to speak the truth in love. Which, as we have discussed previously, means “truthing it in love,” which is a pretty cool concept, because it implies a whole lot of action (maybe laying down my life???) and maybe a bit fewer words.

      Thanks for letting me chime in! Honestly, a lot of the issues involving homosexuality are a bit difficult for me to process (but I am studying and trying to learn, all the while making sure I love no matter what). But I think I can say, without reservation, that those of us who follow Christ can do a whole lot better at demonstrating our love to the homosexual community, many who are suffering unspeakable bullying from some in our evangelical community. Lately, I have been trying to understand why people read the difficult verses in varying ways, rather than just writing them off. Hopefully, as I do that, all of us will draw closer to Christ and be led into all truth by the Holy Spirit. One thing I know for sure: I absolutely do not want to be like a Pharisee (which for too many years I was) and end up thinking I have it all figured out and then miss the Lord when he is standing right in front of me. It should humble all of us as we reflect on those leaders during Jesus’ day. They knew the law inside and out. They apparently kept the law. But when Messiah stood before them, they were blind. Completely, absolutely blind. And then they killed him. God with us, come to save his people, was murdered by those that knew his Word best.

      God keep us from sin. We want to worship you in spirit and in truth. Amen.

  20. RS says:

    I agree with the spirit of what you’ve written Kent. I just hate to see Christianity called “homophobic”. I feel that I have to defend the words of the Lord. Matt, I think, accused me of being “callous.” I assure you, I am not callous and believe wholeheartedly in loving others, and yes, the gay community needs that love very much. I think I like to think of the LORD in terms Paul himself used when he wrote, “behold, the kindness and severity of the Lord.”

    • RS says:

      Love. Be kind. Be patient. But never seek to dilute the power of the WORDs of the Lord, for that would not be love at all, and possibly even cowardice.

  21. Dear Clare,
    I understand your silence and it is yours to exercise. However I encourage you to speak because your voice is needed in the conversation. I value having you here. I value you. You are an image bearer of God and you have a perspective that no one else here has.
    Much love,
    m

    Dear All,
    Perhaps you should take a trip over to Claire’s blog to get to know her a little better:
    http://clareflourish.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/words-of-encouragement/#comment-984

    I want to make sure that everyone on Word of a Woman knows that whatever beliefs you hold, I expect love and kindness to rule the day and the conversation. Claire is a follower of Christ and we can debate the theology all day long and I am fine with that but I expect Claire’s faith to be respected and for her to be loved and heard.
    Much love,
    m

  22. DeeAnna says:

    Michelle,

    “It says nothing about silencing discussion of the Bible. It says nothing about silencing Christians. I asked why do Christians curse the silence because the Christians have made this about them. It isn’t about the Christians …”

    I apologize yet again. I completely misunderstood. I thought the question was an invitation to discuss reasons Christians might balk at this. Especially because some (though not ALL) of the Christian organizations you listed are not known to me to be particularly hateful, or truth over love type organizations. The criticism that Christians are making this about THEM is incredibly valid, and again, I apologize for unwittingly participating in this.

    As someone who was bullied frequently in school (and who still occasionally meets with ignorance and hatred as an adult) believe me, I do not discount anti-bullying initiatives. I WISH this had been a “thing” when I was younger. I lost friends to suicide too. So again, apologizing for missing the point. I’m aware that my brain works in odd ways. Sometimes it helps me in life; I’m a great problem-solver because I naturally think “outside the box.” But unfortunately it hinders me often in conversation, because I’m not thinking on the same wavelength as most everyone else. I hope you will continue to be patient with me! I really don’t do it on purpose, and don’t mean to make you feel as if I’m discussing something entirely different than what you intended. I know it can be frustrating, so thanks for pointing it out to me.

  23. DeeAnna says:

    Clare,

    I hope you know I wasn’t trying to debate with you. I really did feel bad that I gave the impression that you and I didn’t care equally about these kids, or that they’re lives in some way are “lesser” because they’re gay. You and I are in utter agreement about the value of all life.

  24. DeeAnna says:

    Kent,

    I’m going to put off responding to you for a bit. My feelings are a little hurt; probably unreasonably so. I feel like you didn’t understand where my comments were coming from, and that you don’t automatically believe the best of me. I wish you knew me well enough to know my heart. I request that you go back and re-read those comments, with a mind open to the idea that the only thing I ever wish to convey is truth AND love. I don’t believe the two should ever, ever be separated. I’m human, and will often accidentally seperate the two. But I do not believe truth holds a higher position than love. I just also don’t believe love holds a higher position than truth.

    I feel like I would be better able to respond to you if you perhaps addressed things specifically to ME, rather than to both RS and I. I feel like I clearly said that I believe people can abuse Scriptures, but that doesn’t make the Scriptures themselves hateful. So I’m just puzzled by the comment directed at me and RS, and that is where my hesitation is coming in. I don’t want to respond emotionally. I know I never give the right answers when I do, and I’m not able to be loving either. I’ll come back and visit this again later today. Hopefully you can clear a bit of this up for me, and let me know if my feelings are off-base.

    • DeeAnna,

      Forgive me for hurting your feelings. I went back and read my comment and didn’t see anything there that was hurtful, but I get that it hit you that way, so I apologize.

      I added your name because RS had included your name. That is all. Nothing personal. I just wanted to clarify that using Scripture does not mean someone isn’t bullying. RS said “I agree with DeeAnna that equating bullying with a Bible-based perspective is error.” I guess my point is that many have a “Bible-based perspective” and still bully, because they are using Scripture as a club. They are convinced their perspective is “Bible-based.” The examples I provided earlier clearly demonstrate that. I agree with you that it isn’t God’s fault. However, people use the Scriptures to justify all kinds of strange behavior, and they quote directly from Scripture for their justification.

      Hope this helps you understand what I was trying to get at.

  25. DeeAnna says:

    Kent,

    I’m actually pondering best to not respond here as any response I have would be wildly off the original topic, as pointed out by Clare and Michelle. If I’m invited to delve into all of the issues raised in the comments, I will. If you prefer not, I think it best to save for another time and place.

    I do wish not to make such an important topic (bullying) about me or my feelings. There have been many other worthy discussions brought up here. Many things I could literally spend hours discussing. Things like love, the Commandments, truth, one’s death, being a Pharisee, etc. There are a lot of really good things brought into this conversation, which makes me honestly happy that some of us did misunderstand the topic. But I will submit to the rebuke to keep it on topic out of respect. I just want to clarify if that is what you wish, or if you wish to move forward with the broader topic. I am still afraid of sticking my foot in my mouth as I’ve done so many times before. I’m quite tired of its taste.

    • I guess the topic is why do Christians curse the silence. Put differently, how did Christians become known by what they’re against instead of by their love? If you feel you need to discuss something to address the topic, have at it. But when people comment, it is fair game to critique (in a loving manner) that comment. This isn’t my blog, so Michelle can clarify if she feels clarification is needed.

      At the end of the day, reading this blob post and comments, it seems everyone says they are against bullying, but they just differ on what bullying is. Likewise, everyone seems to agree that love and truth are important, but they just differ on what love and truth are. So listening to what others think is important. And I believe (again, Michelle can clarify) that one person of this blog is to get a discussion going and very, very important points.

      So if you can handle the taste of your foot (your words, not mine), go for it!

        • DeeAnna,

          I think you are missing my tone. 🙂 I was trying to be funny by mentioning the foot thing. Relax a bit. We love you. We value what you share with us. We need your voice. Nobody is thinking badly about you or not looking for the best. We are all simply trying to learn and grown in Christ.

          Kent

  26. DeeAnna says:

    Oh. My bad. I do that online too; type something in jest and have my tone totally missed. Sorry. In that case, it was funny. I think I’m still trying to figure out what kind of interactions you and I actually have. This, I think, makes misunderstandings common. I would like to continue to work on those repairs. I know on my side there are many repairs still to be made.

    I do feel like you may have been bordering on calling me a Pharisee, which is where the offense came in originally. Did you actually say it? No. So I won’t launch into a defense. As I said, my hurt feelings are most likely uncalled for. I was just a little puzzled as to how that played into the conversation if you didn’t feel like it was already in play. Does that make sense?

    To me, a Pharisee is someone who cares more about looking good in the eyes of man than obeying and loving God. Kent, I have never known you to be this kind of man. I hope I don’t come across that way either. I think also that Pharisees are selfish people who keep their treasures (time, money, food, homes, etc) to themselves, unless giving some of it will make them look good to other people. Again, I have NEVER known you to be that man, and I strive not to be such a person either. A Pharisee is a hypocrite; yes, we are all hypocrites. All of us. But I’d argue that they are a special type of hypocrite. One who genuinely doesn’t see the plank in his own eye. Again, I don’t believe you’ve ever been that man. I wonder if “Pharisee” isn’t just a word popularly thrown around by Christians as a kind of “catch-all” insult to people who aren’t behaving the way we think they should? Granted, I do not know what you’ve struggled with internally, but outwardly you’ve always been loving, and I know it wasn’t just to “look good” to others. You’ve always been giving too. You may have learned more about love over time, but it doesn’t mean your old ways were failures. I think we all take small painful steps as we grow.

    Now moving past my feelings to deal with the fun stuff…

  27. DeeAnna says:

    Okay, so yes- for the moment I want to set aside the idea of bullying, homosexuality, and all of that. I feel like we might all be on the same page as far as bullying goes, so I want to take a look at some of the other things brought up here. I want to go back to this from you:

    “Michael, I might add what Jesus said to this discussion, since he is the way, the truth, and the life, and John, who you quote, followed him:

    Matthew 22: 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

    John 15: 12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

    So to love God is to keep his commandments, and his commandments, in the words of our Lord Jesus, are love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and your neighbor as yourself … which Jesus said is to lay down your life for your friends. It seems that anyone who tries to define “commandments” otherwise is laying a burden on people that Jesus didn’t choose to lay.”

    Am I understanding you correctly when I believe that you are saying something like this:

    That this verse, emphasis added,
    “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his COMMANDMENTS. For this is the love of God, that we keep his COMMANDMENTS. And his COMMANDMENTS are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world— our faith.” 1 John 5:2-4

    And this verse, again, emphasis added,
    “And this is love, that we walk according to his COMMANDMENTS; this is the ***commandment***, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.” 2 John 1:6

    Are you saying that when these verses refer to commandments (plural) that they are simply referring to the two commandments spoken by Jesus in Matthew 22? To love God and love others?

    Awaiting reply to continue…

  28. RS says:

    We have only one judge. I am not, of course, anyone’s judge.

    I just know that I see a disturbing trend today…in that as soon as a Christian points out aspects of the truth which may be difficult to hear, the accusation comes out that this is not loving. Is it more loving to ignore those commandments?

    I know it can get complicated, with people delivering things with hate, and there are just no simplistic caricatures on either side of this issue which tell the whole story.

    But I think Paul was being prophetic when he writes about a time to come (here today, I believe) in which people are finding it harder and harder to endure “sound doctrine”.
    2 Timothy 4:3: http://bible.cc/2_timothy/4-3.htm

    If we love someone and they’ve published their works, we are, if we love them, going to read and research all we can about their thoughts. I don’t think we can merely have a feeling in our heart of love without also knowing what God requires of us. And for that, we cannot bypass His laws and instructions. If preaching those instructions has become offensive, God help us. We have to be able to stand and not cover our ears when we hear His truths. They have a life-saving quality to them.

    What I wanted to contribute to the discourse was that we have to look at the whole Bible, not only those parts we feel good reading. And get to a point in our conscience where we are at peace with all that God has revealed that He wants and expects of us.

    I accept that this approach is more and more unpopular, but being popular is not my goal, anyway. I would want someone to likewise treat me that way. Tell me the truth, even if it stings me. Don’t betray my soul with comforting kisses and pretty lies.

    I think what disturbs many of us Christians about the Days of Silence method is that we feel (and with good reason) that the “silence” is also about silencing the admonitions and difficult-to-hear words of Holy Scripture. I feel that this “sense” is correct and that we are seeing more and more examples of the Word being treated as if it is a FIST, instead of the medicine it is meant to be. Sometimes medicine is a bit bitter, but the end result is healing, so it’s worth those uncomfortable moments to reach that place of healing.

    But again, only the LORD will judge and that’s what matters afterall. I do wish everyone the very best, truly, and without reservation.

    • I know plenty of Christians that point out hard, unpopular things, but don’t get accused of being unloving. In fact, I see it in the news almost every week. I think people just don’t get how harsh they sound sometimes.

      I have honestly never met a non-Christian who doesn’t already know all of the hard, unpopular stuff that the Bible says. And I spend most of my time around non-Christians. I don’t think the church has failed at all getting that message out. The message of love? Not so much.

      I also find it odd that we will “tell the truth” and “not care what people think about us.” But then we are afraid of what people might think of us if we participate in the Day of Silence? Since when were we supposed to care what people think about us? It goes both ways.

      When you say this RS: “What I wanted to contribute to the discourse was that we have to look at the whole Bible, not only those parts we feel good reading” it shows that you are not reading this blog, or that you don’t know anything about the people here. Michelle has done nothing but look at the whole Bible. She has uncovered some things that I think many people miss. I don’t always agree with the logic she uses, but to think that she (or anyone else here) is ignoring parts of the Bible shows that you aren’t paying attention (and why say that if it is not aimed at someone here?). She is coming to a different conclusion than you, but she is not ignoring it.

      I am tired of this whole “people pick and choose scripture” statement or “people ignore parts of the Bible” line of reasoning. It is just judgement to say that, pure and simple. No one picks and chooses – we follow it all. We just having differing views on which scriptures apply to us. All of the laws on menstruation do not apply to me. Why? because I am not a woman first of all. Does that mean I pick and choose scriptures because I don’t follow those? No – it means they don’t apply to me. So do the laws on growing plants – I don’t grow plants. We all have to determine which scriptures apply to us. Which is definitely a slippery slope. But just because someone has come up with a different view on what applies to them than you do, don’t accuse them of ignoring parts of the Bible or “picking and choosing scriptures”. That is just divisive judgement. Disagree with them all you want to, just don’t judge.

      • RS says:

        Matt, you wrote:

        “When you say this RS: “What I wanted to contribute to the discourse was that we have to look at the whole Bible, not only those parts we feel good reading” it shows that you are not reading this blog, or that you don’t know anything about the people here. Michelle has done nothing but look at the whole Bible. She has uncovered some things that I think many people miss. I don’t always agree with the logic she uses, but to think that she (or anyone else here) is ignoring parts of the Bible shows that you aren’t paying attention (and why say that if it is not aimed at someone here?). She is coming to a different conclusion than you, but she is not ignoring it.”

        Just to make sure, Matt, that I understand everyone better, I will take time to reread all the posts. I have been reading all along, I just want to say, but perhaps not slowly enough, to allow the words, like rain, to penetrate deeply into the ground, so to speak. So before addressing more things, I will simply spend time reading again, with the goal of understanding better. Thank you for pointing out what I may indeed come to agree with you on is a flaw.

  29. RS, once again putting words in my mouth that I never said. I never “equate Scripturally-based views on homosexuality with bullying.” I equated a flippant attitude towards bullying with bullying. It is one thing to say that you think being gay is a sin and then to stand up against bullying of anyone. But it is another thing to equate an anti-bullying activity with propaganda (which you did). I throw the charge at you that you implied that it is okay to bully because you have an aversion to gays that you were born with. Do you know how many times I have seen the word “aversion” used to excuse all kinds of bullying – even against heterosexual children? That is what sounds calloused to me – “oh well, I was born with this aversion, can’t do anything about it.” If that was not your intent, then you might want to think about the words you are choosing. And also, if that is not your intent than I apologize for reading it that way.

    If you say you are against bullying, but then come out with comments that could be taken to support bullying, do you see where that might be taken wrong?

    But, anyways, another interesting thought I have had through the years on this topic. I find it funny that there are many more scriptures in the Bible about submitting to authority and following the rules of the land (where they don’t disagree with the Bible) than there are on homosexuality (of any kind). So it means that it is a sin to break the speed limits. I don’t see Christians picketing by the side of the road with signs that say “your speed offends God”. Or fighting against the laws that allow speed limit violators to keep their license. Or talking about how teachers at school that are telling students how to get out of tickets with community service are violating religious rights and forcing propaganda on their children.

    “To err is human” We are all going to err. If I err on the side of love, then so be it. I know my own heart, and how antagonistic it can be (just ask Kent), and if I choose not to err on that side, I will just end up like pre-Damascus Road Paul in my attempt to correct sin.

    • RS says:

      I meant that bullying is wrong, period. It’s wrong to bully someone for any reason under the sun. It’s also wrong to bully someone because they are Christian,too. I would like to see the whole bullying argument divorced completely from Biblical views of homosexuality. Because what I keep hearing over and over is that THOSE VIEWS are contributing to bullying. Again, someone who bullies others cannot possibly have the love of God in their hearts. A bully will use anything to club others — it need not be the Bible, it could be any idea, from any source. The issue is bullying. If Christians keep away from gay-sponsored social events, one should ask why. It is because we are clearly getting the message that OUR VIEWS are the underlying basis for bullying. I just totally disagree with that message, and can’t support it. But if gay-sponsored events cut the cord that links bullying with Scripture and focus instead on bullying itself, and on the idea that all bullying is simply wrong, including bullying we Christians, then I think we would see broad-spectrum support. Am I wrong?

      • I have never seen gay-sponsored anti-bully event link the bullying with scripture. I am sure there are some out there, but the ones I have read up on over the past year never do. And Christians still boycott them. Michelle’s original post is proof of that. There is no linking of scripture to bullying in this Day of Silence campaign.

  30. DeeAnna says:

    RS, I think that last thing you just posted was quite beautiful. I’m still going to stay away from nearly everything you brought up (can of worms, dude, lol), but I do want you to believe I can hear the sincerity, passion, and attempts at Love when I read your words.

    • RS says:

      DeeAnna, I really do appreciate your writing that you “can hear the sincerity, passion, and attempts at Love when [you] read [my] words.” Thanks so much, and I’m not just being reciprocal to be reciprocal, but I feel the same about your words. But beyond that, your desire to create unity.

  31. DeeAnna says:

    Matt, I’m not sure RS was directing that at you. I believe he is discussing a cultural standard, rather than grinding a personal ax? I don’t want to speak out of turn, but I think you two need to kiss and make up. I’ve seen more agreement between you than disagreement. I think you’re just rubbing each other the wrong way.

    • That was actually addressing something he said way up the comment thread: “It’s just illogical, Matt, to equate Scripturally-based views on homosexuality with bullying.” I never did that, and just wanted to point that out 🙂

      • DeeAnna says:

        Yessir. Agreed. I actually think that RS’s first comment was directed at Michelle, and the entire scope of her God and Homosexuality series. I think it got personal between the two of you with your own comment, “In fact, some studies even suggest that views like yours actually fuels more hatred.” But I know this is because you took what RS said personally. I’m proposing there was a misunderstanding here. 🙂

      • Oh, I never took anything he said personally, especially since he is using a generic screen name. I have no idea how RS is. Which is probably why I am being a little more blunt in my responses to him. Or her. I don’t know why I assumed RS is male.

        But, on the flip side, I never really have seen anything wrong with taking things personally. If you say something to someone, about someone… how else are they supposed to take it? Metaphorically? Figuratively? I think it is unrealistic to go around discussing and debating issues like this and expect everyone to not take it personally. Its better to watch our words to make sure we aren’t making veiled jabs. Which, obviously, I don’t always do the best at. But sometimes it just seems like “don’t take it personally” is just a “get out of jail free” card that people pull out whenever they get busted for a veiled jab. I know I used to do that a lot.

      • DeeAnna says:

        I think when people recommend not taking things personally they mean to keep the issue as the focus. Think of it as two people versus an issue, instead of two people versus each other. I certainly don’t think anyone here wishes to take veiled jabs at one another.

  32. DeeAnna says:

    “I am tired of this whole “people pick and choose scripture” statement or “people ignore parts of the Bible” line of reasoning. It is just judgement to say that, pure and simple. No one picks and chooses – we follow it all. We just having differing views on which scriptures apply to us.”

    I would LOVE if a member of the Krabill family would address this. Yet another worthy topic brought up in these interesting comments. I find myself agreeing just a little bit with everybody, though not fully with anyone. To give you a hint though, Matt, I agree with you. I actually discussed this very thing with Michelle recently!

    • I am curious about your comment here DeeAnna. I want to make sure I am clear in my understanding of your comment. You are saying that “Christians all follow scripture, we just disagree in which scriptures apply to us?”

      • DeeAnna says:

        No. I meant I agree that I’m tired of the whole “everybody picks and chooses Scripture” thing. I went off about it a little bit. I really think that accusing EVERYBODY of picking a choosing Scripture is not a fair thing to say. I do know there are people who do that, but I dislike the statement that “everybody does it, so I’ll do it too.” But that’s from another comment in another place… I just don’t understand it. So I don’t agree with Matt entirely, I think it just points out that people have better intentions than most give credit.

      • But I don’t, and I could be wrong, think that the saying means, “everyone picks and chooses so I can too.” I have always thought it meant everyone picks and chooses what to obey bc it is how they interprete the importance of each command. Such as the laws about shellfish, periods, blended fabrics, etc. I don’t obey those bc those are the laws I have decided I am not going to focus on. I don’t follow those because I don’t believe those apply anymore bc of the cross. So picking and choosing is not about which ones I have decided matter and more about looking at those laws and rules and studying their context and history and deciding how they apply today.

        It’s not about a believer deciding that (and this is an example bc we are discussing i) homosexuality is ok because they are just deciding that that is a law they don’t want to follow.

        Everyone DOES pick and choose bc it’s based on how they decide to follow scripture based on their understanding.

      • DeeAnna says:

        “I have always thought it meant everyone picks and chooses what to obey bc it is how they interprete the importance of each command. Such as the laws about shellfish, periods, blended fabrics, etc. I don’t obey those bc those are the laws I have decided I am not going to focus on.”

        I respect that, BUT my argument is that not everyone does that.

        I have studied the subject as intensely as I can as a total ignorant layman, [:-)] and I submit: The people who don’t follow the laws about shellfish and blended fabrics actually have good reason for it. They’re not tossing out the laws. They’re not ignoring them as you are. A lot of studying and prayer and (I believe) revelation has gone into what makes that theology what it is. It really, truly (for me) is not “picking and choosing.” It is me trying to be obedient to the entire Bible; the whole story I see. Am I perfect about it? Nope, not at all. Because my brain is imperfect, and my knowledge is imperfect. I didn’t become a Christian and then immediately know everything there is to know about God’s will. When I become aware of sins, or omissions, or hypocrisy, I allow the Holy Spirit’s conviction to continue the work on the new creation that is me. But to say that everyone picks and chooses what they follow is (in my opinion) a little offensive. I don’t mean YOU are offensive, or I’m offended by you saying it. I’m just saying the phrase itself, and the lack of understanding it conveys about my beliefs, gets me a little bit emotional.

        Does that make sense? It’s an entirely different perspective than yours. It doesn’t make your perspective less valid. Your perspective may turn out to be more correct than mine. I simply can’t tell you in the end. But for now I believe the satement that “everyone chooses what they follow and focus on” is false. I feel like it’s an assumed truth, not an actual Truth. Mostly because I haven’t seen truth of it in my own life, or the lives of many others.

  33. RS says:

    Matt, when you wrote, “In fact, some studies even suggest that views like yours actually fuels more hatred,” I took that to mean that you support the conclusion proffered by many, actually, in the gay community that there is a strong link between bullying gays and the Biblical views on gay sex which Christians subscribe to. If you meant something else, that is not fully clear to me.

    Regarding my being either male or female, I prefer to be asexual as to my identity on this or other blogs simply because I would rather my thoughts and ideas were considered solely on the basis of their merit (or lack thereof), and were not prejudiced by any associations stemming from considerations of my gender.

    Thanks 🙂

  34. RS says:

    Just one more thing before I delve into reading all the posts again…..yes, not ALL the laws of God listed apply to EVERYONE.

    But sexual immorality as it has been defined originally (recorded in Leviticus 18) is a universal moral law, applying to Jews and Gentiles. It is also part of the injunctions given by the Apostles following their discussion at the Council of Jerusalem, described in Acts 15. It’s not one of those “laws” which only applied to the ancient Israelite priesthood, or women, for example.

    Much like Jonah of old, we are loathe to go a preach repentance to the metaphorical Ninevites of our day. Yet “repentance” is clearly at the top of our Lord’s mission. Instead of refusing Him, we should remember Jonah’s experience. It worked out alright in the end. He was rather personally discomfitted for a short time, but Nineveh received the words afterall — and that pleased the Lord greatly.

  35. DeeAnna says:

    RS,

    “Just one more thing before I delve into reading all the posts again…..yes, not ALL the laws of God listed apply to EVERYONE.

    But sexual immorality as it has been defined originally (recorded in Leviticus 18) is a universal moral law, applying to Jews and Gentiles. It is also part of the injunctions given by the Apostles following their discussion at the Council of Jerusalem, described in Acts 15. It’s not one of those “laws” which only applied to the ancient Israelite priesthood, or women, for example.”

    YES! Exactly, exactly right. Good grief, it’s taken me hours of thinking, typing, and researching to get at what you did in one paragraph. Masterful.

    • DeeAnna says:

      Although, I don’t quite understand the reference to Jonah. He hated the Ninevites, and the idea here is that Christians ought not hate anybody…

      • RS says:

        Yes, Jonah didn’t want anything to do with the Ninevites. Nineveh was the capitol of Assyria. But the all-seeing, all-knowing LORD did. He saw all their deeds and loved them, because He loves all of humanity. He wanted to give them a chance to turn away from their wicked ways through His warning. Is He not, as Paul asks, only the God of the Jews and not the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles, also!
        http://bible.cc/romans/3-29.htm

        Jonah did everything he could to get out of that mission! Sometimes it’s even
        funny, reading of his many thought processes and evasive tactics. Really, not too unlike our own sometimes, when given the task of warning others that destruction will come if there is no repentance.

        But there’s a very good explanation of all of that online that I think would answer any Q’s you might have of this example:

        http://bible.org/seriespage/nineveh%E2%80%99s-repentance-and-jonah%E2%80%99s-wrath-jonah-3-4

        [Matthew 12:41, “The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.”]

        Thank you.

      • RS says:

        DeeAnna, I responded to this (above) but I see a line above my answer which reads, “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” So…I guess if it passes muster, it will print out for you….

      • DeeAnna says:

        Nope, and she has to go live in the backyard during…

        I’m so kidding.

        In all seriousness, there do seem to be parts of the Law that Jesus… I don’t want to say “changed” because I feel like I will get in trouble for saying that from all sides… Improved upon? Helped us understand better? The laws regarding what’s clean or unclean are pretty obviously some of those. I remember how he and his disciples didn’t clean their hands before eating. I remember how he admonished us to clean the inside before we worried about the outside. I remember that an “unclean” woman with the bleeding disorder touched HIM and He blessed her.

        Again, it’s using the whole of Scripture to interpret the whole of Scripture. What I’m saying here is that I believe the notion that homosexual acts are sinful is repeated throughout the entire Scripture. It seems to me to be a matter of freedom when God warns us not to go there. I know this is the exact opposite of your view on the subject. I’m just sharing. But I believe there are some sins which keep us in bondage, and that embracing these are the opposite of living free as God wishes us to. He truly does want to free all captives.

        You probably won’t agree, but I hope you can see my point.

      • RS says:

        I have personally not researched that topic well, Kent. But if your conscience is bothered by that, I would simply not do it. I would go by whatever is written in the Bible specifically about that; that would be the leading of my conscience.

        I can sense that this line of thinking will produce an endless line of questioning, such as “Okay, does that mean I won’t be eating lobster this Friday night?” Personally, my conscience would bother me about eating shellfish because I know that God already forbade it. Why would I go against something God already forbade? Who am I seeking to please? My tongue can wait — its desires can be forestalled. I would research it thoroughly and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in these matters.

        I always remember that in Acts 15:21, we see that the apostles expected Gentiles to continue attending the synagogues on the Sabbath, where they would hear Moses preached. They gave them a few laws of major importance so as not to be discouraging to them.

        When it comes to universal moral laws, such as those against sexual immorality, there it is not a matter left to conscience, as Paul would consider other, more minor matters to be.

  36. I’m kind of baffled here. I don’t think I need to open my bible and read in John and then tell myself, “Ok. Yes. It’s wrong to allow children to be bullied. Now I know what to do.” We don’t even need to open our bibles to decide what to do in this situation. It’s a no brainer. Let’s make this super easy and STOP looking at whether or not we agree with how a child is figuring out their life and instead LET’S ALL TAKE A STAND TO MAKE CHILDREN FEEL SAFE IN THEIR SCHOOL. That is it. No more. No less.

    This whole argument in the comments here seems a little odd to me. We are talking about bullying and not about whether or not it’s an abomination for a child to act on their homosexual nature. Aren’t we? Let me think back to high school and also about the conversations I have had the past few years with my high school attendting cousins. The attitude in high school seems to me to be the same as it was when I was there 15 years ago. It has never been (and when it is, it’s rare) “I don’t agree with your homosexuality, but I choose to love you anyway.” High school is about insecurity and hirearchy. The popular kids set the tone and the majority follows, and yes, that means christian kids too. There are FEW kids in high school that have strong enough self esteem to make the right choices every time. It’s the name of the game. An argument about what homophobia is, who is homophobic, if it’s really a legitimate term, etc is irrelevant. Gay children are getting bullied BC THEY ARE GAY. Let’s STAND UP AND MAKE THAT STOP.

    So, day of silence for gay kids? Check! Next?

    It doesn’t need to go further than that. Seriously. Can Christians please stop making every thing so damn exhausting and stop getting all worked up about someone’s agenda? I mean really. This is just getting absurd.

    • DeeAnna says:

      Kellie, it was addressed up higher in the comment thread about why we are talking about other things. I know it probably makes your eyes bleed to read through all of it though. We are (I think) all in agreement about the kids and the bullying and the value of loving all.

      • I think that is where I am confused then and why my original comment says what it says. I have read through the comments and am not sure why this took the turn it did. My point was why can we never just discuss the issue (the DOS), but instead it ALWAYS get’s turned into someone’s sin and how we are supposed to love them. That’s what I wanted to discuss.

      • DeeAnna says:

        Yeah, I think you’re right about that Kellie. It’s pretty convicting to me. I know I myself am frequently frustrated when I try to have one conversation and end up having 3 others except the one I wanted! I’m starting to see the problem lies more with language in general, and our perceptions. I’ve noticed that I can say the exact same sentence to 10 different people, and they will hear 10 different things! It’s so HARD to get people to understand what I meant, rather than what they heard me say. So your critique that this was taken way off course is a very fair one, IMO. I think you’re very right to be frustrated.

    • RS says:

      Of course, we’re all in agreement that bullying should stop. For people identifying as gay, for people of different cultural backgrounds from the mainstream, for everyone who is in any way DIFFERENT from the majority. That already is our consensus.

      • RS says:

        The title of the thread should indicate to you that we are also discussing attitudes among Christians in relation to DOS activities.

        If that bores or exhausts you………………………………………..

      • You are going to need to clarify yourself here then because your above comment projects a different opinion. It sounds like you are saying that standing up to bullies means we should also protect them?

  37. RS says:

    kherring1……….I think if you read the comments I have already posted, you will have no doubt as to my viewpoints on the issues of bullies generally and Christians specifically. If after you’ve “read me” and you still have a bone of contention, I’m fine with discussing or clarifying.

    Please consider the fact that when a person posts a comment, they are perhaps taking time away from other things in their life. It would be respectful to read their comments in full before jumping to conclusions that they are then told they need to explain. I hope you can see my point here.

    • RS,

      That’s a bit condescending and quite assuming. I would love to discuss this as long as it can be productive and not attacking. I am aware that commenting means taking time out things in ones live. That is the reason I have been reading (and txting with Michelle a bit) this thread for a few days, but haven’t commented. My three children and I have have had the stomach flu for the past few days. I really didn’t have the time or emotional strength to comment.

      I know what your comments are saying. It’s very clear.

      1.The blog post was about the DOS.
      2. Your first comment turned this from a post about bullying into a post about what it means to truly love someone and that is to tell them when they are wrong. And then also about what homophobia really is.
      3. The thread then followed the tone that you set up and moved away from the original blog regarding the DOS and into loving people and what that means.
      4.My comment responded by saying in simple terms that we aren’t discussing whether or not it’s loving people to have a DOS. It’s about safety.
      5. You stated: “It would be a mistake to be insensitive to one group in the name of being sensitive to another.”
      6. I asked you to clarify and you responded by telling me to read your comments.

      So, here is where I am at: I know what you said in your comments. I have read them all. Some a few times actually to make sure I understood you clearly. I am sharing with you that you don’t seem to be clearly anti-bully if it means protecting someone who has a behavior that you think is a sin bc you continue to present an argument that contends that it’s not loving. OR is this not about the DOS, but about your opinion on homosexuality? I am seeing two different thoughts. If you agree that there should be a DOS because bullying is wrong, then great. And if you are also just discussing your disagreement with the LGTB community, then that’s ok also. It just doesn’t seem clear.

      You can’t defend yourself and say you are anti-bully, (because then you would support the day), but then argue about how being loving is pointing out the sin you believe these children to be in and how the supporting this day equates supporting homosexuality. They are not mutually-exclusive. You are actually cementing Michelle’s argument that those against the DOS are against it bc they think it’s political, instead of about safety. You actually of proved her point.

    • RS says:

      With all due respect, DeeAnna, I prefer for my thoughts and ideas on blogs to be regarded independently from considerations about my personal life. My words really do express the “who-ness” of me in its most essential form.

  38. DeeAnna says:

    I hope that’s not an offensive question. I just have a strong feeling you have a strong Judeo-Christian background. Am I off base here? I feel like knowing a little more about you would help people be kinder to you. I feel like I understand you a little bit, but I know that’s because I’m making assumptions based on the content of your answers. I am also trying to believe the best of everyone posting here! I want to extend that courtesy to everyone, of every background.

    • I also hope it’s clear that I am discussing the issue, not who someone is. I don’t feel like I am attacking, but just discussing my points. I can insert emoticons if that would be helpful. 🙂 Ha!

  39. DeeAnna says:

    I don’t think you’re attacking. I just think poor RS has kinda been on the defensive since 50 comments ago. Feeling one has to defend one’s position quite often takes the conversation to another level. I feel bad too, because I ALSO misunderstood the whole point of the blog. I made an assumption based on the title, and then read the whole blog with that false assumption in mind. Michelle helped me with that. Winking face. 😉

  40. RS says:

    (Sarcasm, btw, is universally recognized as a form of bullying. So is using belitting words like “absurd” and “no brainer.”)

    Well, kherring1, you are certainly expressing how you feel when you write,

    “Can Christians please stop making every thing so damn exhausting and stop getting all worked up about someone’s agenda? I mean really. This is just getting absurd.”

    I do get there’s anger. Honestly, I’m sensing a definite foot-stomping, you’re dragging us down, slowing everything, we gotta get on with it attitude by this sentence. I am glad that it’s clear and honest.

    But whether you want it discussed or not, there is a definite Gay Agenda, and how it intersects with the Christian community really is a valid point of discussion on a thread labeled with the question, “Why Do Christians Curse the Day of Silence?” It would invite discussion from actual Christians, who would really love to answer that question.

    This Agenda actually does conflict with JudeoChristian values. And is not something you can pressure the Christian community into capitulating to unless it really is spineless, we shall see.

    What I meant about insensitivity to one group in the name of sensitivity to another is that: It’s completely insensitive to the Christian community to treat us like cattle to be prodded into line. Do you want to convince Christians of something? They persuade us. Show us by the truth of your statements that your position is correct.

    DOS is indoctrination. It’s not only ALL about safety. GLSEN, the gay advocacy group behind DOS, is very much a political organization. They have a specific mission, like all such target groups do. This is from their own website:

    [Emphases are mine]

    “The Gay, Lesbian & STRAIGHT EDUCATION Network strives to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.

    We believe that such an atmosphere engenders a positive sense of self, which is the basis of educational achievement and personal growth. Since HOMOPHOBIA and HETEROSEXISM undermine a healthy school climate, we work to EDUCATE teachers, students and the public at large about the damaging effects these forces have on youth and adults alike. We recognize that forces such as racism and sexism have similarly adverse impacts on communities and we support schools in seeking to redress all such inequities.

    GLSEN seeks to DEVELOP SCHOOL CLIMATES where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes in creating a more vibrant and diverse community. We welcome any and all individuals as members, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity/expression or occupation, who are committed to seeing this philosophy realized in K-12 schools.”

    Let’s do look closely at the word, “Homophobia”, because according to GLSEN, it has “damaging effects” on everyone. Youths and Adults – that’s everybody.

    Again, there is (or was, thanks to Kameny, et.al.) a clinical diagnosis called “homophobia.” It goes back to the times before gay activists forced the removal of homosexuality as a psychiatric disorder from the diagnostic manual, or DSM. Here’s some history and explanation of actual homophobia:

    http://www.narth.com/docs/coll-breiner.html

    In silencing the psychiatrists,

    not all: Dr. Charles Socarides has published about this phenomenon, it’s reviewed here, and I strongly recommend reading it: http://www.narth.com/docs/freedom.html

    the term “homophobia” began to be used to cover a multitude of areas of disagreement with the goals of the political lobbying group collectively known as “gay activists.” In other words, if you, as an individual citizen, disagree with any part of the Gay Agenda, you become a “homophobic” by default.

    This meaning has begun to be so widespread in the common language as to be reflexive now. It is, in reality, a form of programming. Of course, this is consciously and quite precisely the intent behind “develop[ing] school climates” which affirm homosexuality as a desirable alternative. It is simply programming kids to accept gay as normal and good. Not merely “normal” but also “good” or something to be desired and proud of.

    And here is the rock of offense to all of that: the words of God.

    GLSEN has really come up against that, in reality, and those of us who believe in His words as righteous and immutable. We can’t affirm something we don’t believe, anymore than Daniel could have bowed to the image of the King of Babylon. We are to render unto Caesar’s what is Caesar’s (i.e., the government) but render unto God what is God’s. And we know, as believers, that what is God’s is our soul. Our allegiance is to God and His moral decrees before they are ever to Caesar’s. And if our conscience tells us that the government has gone too far in its reach to compel what goes against our consciences, then we have a moral obligation (as well as an historic one, as American patriots) to stand up and say, “No, I differ.”

    I differ with GLSEN’S definition of “homophobia”. I do not accept that term in my personal lexicon to include Bible-based views of gay sex. This is the intention of GLSEN, to merely reinforce their definition in young minds, and the implicit argument is the one you just offered:

    “You can’t defend yourself and say you are anti-bully, (because then you would support the day)”

    Maybe your intention was to shut the discussion down with words like “absurd, no-brainer”, I don’t know that, but I do know that those words do prove you don’t understand the Christian perspective and you don’t mind disrespecting it, and that in your mind it’s just this simple: support it, or you’re a homophobic bully — end of discussion.

    I differ with that approach. Those are NOT the terms in which I would support an anti-bullying campaign. I will not support something which undermines my religious or spiritual beliefs.

    I WOULD glady support a STOP BULLYING NOW campaign, and the like, if such existed, and I hope one will — and very soon – which attacks the problem of bullying alone, without ever blaming “Christians”. I know that a person who is practitioning Christianity, who is following the lead of the Lord would NEVER bully someone. Bullying is thoroughly anti-thetical to Christianity and the message of love delivered to us by the Prince of Peace.

    I would encourage any Christian church to begin such a campaign immediately in their local community. As Christians, we do NOT support bullying behavior toward anyone, for any reason. We will reason with one another, we will show courtesy and proper respect for each individual, we will affirm the value of every individual’s life, but we need to do it in our own way, because GLSEN’s programming to equate all disagreement with “homophobia” clearly undermines JudeoChristianity.

    Jesus’ words are clear, and the laws of God are clear, and the Apostles in the New Testament did not abrogate those.

    Anyone can – they have the basic right under our Constitution, as well, to – disagree with every fiber of their being with that Biblical perspective.

    I am arguing that no political lobbying group has the right to effectively stifle the Light of the Gospel, which is deliverance from all sin (and by whose tenets, homosexuality is clearly defined as sin). No group has the right to silence the JudeoChristian community in its beliefs about said sin. Launching something like DOS through the school system, affecting the opinions of growing children to adopt the pro-homosexual agenda is an abrogation of a parent’s right to raise their children with their own preferred religious beliefs. Whether or not gayness is to be upheld as a birthright or not is simply not within the province of the public schools system.

    The school system itself needs to form firm Anti-Bullying programs which punish any such behavior, effectively stopping it. “Diversity” truly includes everyone, so that concept simply shouldn’t be heralded under a banner of homosexuality.

    • RS,

      You have made it clear to me that you are not interested in the DOS bc you believe the day is for the organizers to indoctrinate children into thinking it’s ok to be gay. You believe there is a deeper agenda for that day. You have been presented with the facts about what the day is. You are more interested in what the group does and works to do every other day of the year. I won’t be able to change your mind on that, nor will I try.

      “Maybe your intention was to shut the discussion down with words like “absurd, no-brainer”, I don’t know that, but I do know that those words do prove you don’t understand the Christian perspective and you don’t mind disrespecting it, and that in your mind it’s just this simple: support it, or you’re a homophobic bully — end of discussion.”

      You are implying a tone to my comment that I never intended to be there and I have to believe it’s because it’s written and not spoken to you in person. You have also put words in my mouth and made assumptions about my beliefs without having any idea where I stand. There will be no positive result for us to continue this conversation so I will bow out now. I wish you well.

      • RS says:

        dear kherring1,

        I’m really not sure how I could have put words in your mouth.

        I did assume you weren’t a Christian because you wrote, “Can Christians please stop…” I think if you’d written “Can we Christians please stop” I would have realized that you identify as Christian. I only realized this when I saw some postings of yours that were attached to earlier ones that I hadn’t realized were being responded to. But I’d already sent my post when I noticed that.

        So since you identify as a Christian, and I assumed you hadn’t, then I did make some assumptions about your beliefs. I’m sure that offended you…I know I hate to be misrepresented. So I hope you will forgive me for that. I’m sorry.

        I am interested in understanding your and anyone’s perspective. I’m trying to catch up on all the reading.

        The crux of my argument is that by GLSEN’s labeling anything which perceives gayness as less than desirable, natural, good, and praiseworthy is “homophobia.” Ergo, the Holy Scriptures are “homophobic” by GLSEN’s definition.

        And they want to disseminate that idea into children in public schools.

        I’ve tried to see this in more benign terms. Unfortunately, the price tag for what they call “school safety” is enormous, imo. Childhood and Youth safety should be the priority of the schools already, but I realize that discipline has disintegrated by and large, in schools. There are many ways to organize such initiatives. I would like to see a vast array of ways to highlight the importance of treating everyone with respect despite the ways in which we differ, possibly created by many different groups.

        But GLSEN’s blanket definition of “homophobia” is truly Orwellian in scope and needs to be rejected.

    • DeeAnna says:

      RS, I think being suspicious that the DOS is designed to “brainwash” children is overly suspicious. I think it’s more a matter of people wanting to protect kids, as Kellie pointed out, while offering an “education in morals” of sorts. Is it about teaching the kids morals? Yes, but I don’t believe that the organizers have ill intentions any more than I believe you have ill intentions. It might be a naive view, but I really do think MOST people are just doing the best they can by being truthful about what they know. I’m comfortable with my kids being exposed to counter viewpoints because I don’t think it does anything but help them grow intellectually and spiritually. At least, I know being challenged has always helped me!

      Again, I agree with you that the Bible isn’t homophobic, and that only misquotes and abuses of the Scripture are hateful. The Bible itself, and its words when shared with integrity, is all Loving.

      I just think that the DOS attempts to be loving also. It’s not Perfect Love, because it does leave God out of the equation, and no love can be perfect without Him. But it a solid worldy attempt at love, which is not a bad place to start.

      And I think I’m just going to go ahead and vocalize dissention over the idea that homosexuality was every appropriately classified as a mental disease. I think it was changed because they realized it was NOT a disorder, not because an agenda forced the issue. Now that it is more scientifically understood, we know it doesn’t fit the standards for mental diseases. Again, focusing on believing the best of everyone, rather than doubting other’s motives.

      I *try* not to assume people have evil motives unless it becomes obvious to me, through their words or otherwise.

  41. Are the Scriptures homophobic?

    No. However this is because the Scriptures do not condemn loving gay unions. They condemn other things. For example, the Sodom story condemns gang rape, and promotes desert codes of hospitality over city codes.

    Some Christians condemn all homosexual acts as sin. I believe this is based on a misreading of the Bible. However, those Christians who say that the Bible condemns homosexual acts treat this as a Sibboleth:

    -The Bible condemns homosexual acts
    -Therefore Biblical Christians must condemn homosexual acts. Stridently, and at every opportunity, even when discussing anti-gay bullying in schools.

    I am not an Evangelical Christian any more. I am a Quaker. I say that condemning loving gay unions, contrary to Scripture, is a bad thing because it brings the Church and the Bible into disrepute. It drives people away from Christ.

    “Whoever is not against you is for you”. If Christians can join with this anti-bullying initiative, they may win the hearts of the decent, moral, non-Christians promoting it. Not all the promoters are the Queer Enemy whose only desire is to destroy the Church.

    And do you not think that there might be just a little tincture of homophobia in the more strident Christian condemnations of absolutely all gay sex? Why, precisely, are these condemners getting so worked up?

    Wikipedia is very good on how to maintain courteous communication by web. Note that I have not said, for example, “you stridently condemn”, or “you have at least a tincture of homophobia”. None of this comment is aimed as a criticism of anyone personally. And, I think whether the Bible condemns all gay sex is too large a topic to discuss here, and on this blog might be discussed on the posts on the individual passages.

    Michelle, I think the larger question of Biblical or Christian attitudes to Sinners, or those who practise a particular sin, within or without the Church, is worth discussion on a new post, if you can direct us to some resources. But then, that is a huge subject at the heart of Christianity.

    • RS says:

      I like the way you write, Clare.

      But I don’t agree with you on almost every point you made; especially the point that “condemning gay unions” “drives people away from Christ.”

      One, the word, “condemning” is bringing with it a sense of judgment. Though I know that the Bible speaks clearly and negatively about homosexuality, I cannot condemn anyone, that’s not my place. Christians are called to lead people to the source of all forgiveness. God alone will judge us all. However, homosexual practice has already been condemned long ago.

      I find satisfaction in knowing the boundaries of what God loves and hates clearly delineated in the text. Many (like me) are attracted all the more to the positive certainty of God’s moral sense.

      I wish I’d known even the Ten Commandments when I was younger and busy breaking them. There is a kind of misery which befalls a person when we are out of sync with God’s commandments. This misery is only broken, I think, when the soul surrenders and aligns itself to God’s will, receiving the mercy of forgiveness, the visitation of the Lord, and the subsequent washing away of addiction to all sin, which changes the desire nature.

      • RS: “I find satisfaction in knowing the boundaries of what God loves and hates clearly delineated in the text. Many (like me) are attracted all the more to the positive certainty of God’s moral sense.”

        I do not think it is clearly delineated. The posts here on, say, Arsenokoitai show it is not clear. How much of the Leviticus code is Christian morality? Whoever is not with me is against me, but whoever is not against you is for you. What of ordinary decent people trying to do the right thing who have been brought up by atheists with a Stoic, say, moral code? Is there no middle ground?

        I think I have to judge for myself. There is no reliable external set of rules, in the Bible, the Magisterium of the Catholic Church or anywhere else. I think that coming to judge for myself is a stage of spiritual growth, beyond seeking out The Rules from The Authority.

        A Conversion moment: I still am strongly pro-life, I think ripping a baby from its mother’s womb is horrifying- and when I talked to a woman who wanted an abortion, I realised that that was the right thing for her now. Never mind that in an ideal world no-one would get pregnant without having the necessary support for her and her baby. She has to get to choose for herself. It is not clear, it is not simple, and believing that it is restricts the flow of God’s Love.

    • DeeAnna says:

      Clare, I think some guided discussion from Michelle is a great idea! Maybe it can be a new series for her at some point? She can pick topics to help us focus, rather than being all over the place as we are.

      I find this phrasing curious:

      “Are the Scriptures homophobic?

      No. However this is because the Scriptures do not condemn loving gay unions.”

      I’m reading into this that you’re saying that Scripture would be homophobic if it DID condemn loving gay unions. I wonder if that’s what you mean? That calling loving gay unions sinful is, in and of itself, homophobic? If so, I must disagree.

      Though I don’t like to use the word “condemn” when referring to anyone. Condemn means:
      1)to express an unfavorable or adverse judgment on; indicate strong disapproval of; censure.
      2)to pronounce to be guilty; sentence to punishment.
      3)to give grounds or reason for convicting or censuring.

      I think God is the only Person who has the right to condemnation. I don’t believe His followers should ever condemn anyone. Indeed, I think it’s almost always a sin to condemn others. Our limited human understanding just isn’t capable of understanding everything there is to know about another person. We don’t KNOW if another person is or will be covered under the blood of Christ. God knows these people; I don’t. I couldn’t even make a sure pronouncement about the guilt or innocense (in Christ) about my own best friend! How could I hope to do so about anyone else? Heck, I even work out my OWN salvation with fear and trembling. I take nothing for granted. I know my perspective is much too limited.

      So, there may be room for some agreement between us that any HUMAN “condemning” another human for any reason is quite wrong.

      However, and this may be semantics, my agreement ends if and when quoting the Bible is called condemnation. Does that make sense? When I say, “The Bible says it’s a sin to commit murder,” I am not condemning a murderer. I’m simply quoting what I know about murder. Does that make sense at all? (And no, I’m not equating murder with a loving gay union. I’m just choosing a random example.) I don’t know anything about the murderer; I only know one thing about one sin: That he has committed a sin, and there is something there to repent of. Again, in my opinion only, this is not a judgment, but “just the facts, ma’am.”

      It’s a fine line I’m walking here, and I understand that. Just sharing a bit. I think there is a difference between the idea of condemning some person and the idea of believing (and vocalizing) that an action is sinful.

      • DeeAnna says:

        Clare,

        “I think I have to judge for myself. There is no reliable external set of rules, in the Bible, the Magisterium of the Catholic Church or anywhere else. I think that coming to judge for myself is a stage of spiritual growth, beyond seeking out The Rules from The Authority.”

        Here is where I strongly disagree. I don’t wish to change your mind about this statement; just communicate another idea. Even our own judgments come from an external source! We have no authority in and of ourselves. CS Lewis might be a good reading suggestion here. If I remember right, oddly enough, I think the Problem of Pain might be a good book to point to here.

      • DeeAnna says:

        To put it another way, my own personal belief (I understand that it is not yours, I just want to help you understand that there is no ill will on my part) is that withholding knowledge of the Good News actually condemns people!

        I guess it’s pretty obvious that I’m Evangelical, huh? LOL.

        I don’t think that the Good News is limited to the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. He is the point of the Gospel; but the Good Book would have been a lot shorter if He was the only necessary information. I think of John the Baptist and how repentance prepared the way for Christ. The commandments of God and the work of Christ go hand in hand, in my personal belief. I know it is not a popular belief! I know some people claim that this is their belief who have abused it. Those people make me so angry, because they have pretty much given the Gospel itself a bad name. I’d much rather talk to a loving atheist than a hateful “Christian!” I have more in common with the atheist.

        Again, it just goes back to encouraging everyone to have a hopeful view of others, unless that person has given them a good reason not to. People should always be viewed as individuals, never as groups. We should really listen to what a person is saying before we decide if the person is hateful, homophobic, etc. There are people who sound like me who don’t believe what I believe AT ALL.

        Hope that makes some sense.

  42. RS says:

    Since I’ve done more than my fair share of writing here, I’ll leave the commenting to others now. It’s been compelling! 🙂

  43. RS says:

    Yes, Clare, and this is why we have to rely on God’s ultimate judgments over the choices we have made in our lives. I know God is just, though people can be very unjust. Because He sees us accurately and knows all the details we ourselves even forget or are not aware of, His love is perfect for our needs. When it comes to those difficult quandaries you’ve described, we can be sure that His guidance is correct, which we can receive through His Spirit, with a submitted heart. This is why we are not in a position to judge others and are called to show compassion.

    But the commandments ARE like lightposts, showing us an approved path which will make our lives better. We can unnecessarily complicate our lives by ignoring those and going by our own sense of what is “right.”

    Nonetheless, even if we’ve blown ourselves off-course by not keeping them, He can take the wreck of our lives and transform that. Again, it is through our brokenness that the first steps of reconciliation to Him often begin. But as we are healed, we need to remember that He has already set before us a certain path of obedience, and if we follow that, out of love and trust, our lives will and do get remarkably better.

    To teach others that’s it’s just okay to break those commandments is, I believe, aiding someone in moving away from Him, not drawing closer.

    ………but again, I need to allow others to comment, so I should just refrain for at least awhile….

  44. DeeAnna says:

    Reposting for Kent, because I think this got lost in the gazillion comments.

    Okay, so yes- for the moment I want to set aside the idea of bullying, homosexuality, and all of that. I feel like we might all be on the same page as far as bullying goes, so I want to take a look at some of the other things brought up here. I want to go back to this from you:

    “Michael, I might add what Jesus said to this discussion, since he is the way, the truth, and the life, and John, who you quote, followed him:

    Matthew 22: 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

    John 15: 12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

    So to love God is to keep his commandments, and his commandments, in the words of our Lord Jesus, are love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and your neighbor as yourself … which Jesus said is to lay down your life for your friends. It seems that anyone who tries to define “commandments” otherwise is laying a burden on people that Jesus didn’t choose to lay.”

    Am I understanding you correctly when I believe that you are saying something like this:

    That this verse, emphasis added,
    “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his COMMANDMENTS. For this is the love of God, that we keep his COMMANDMENTS. And his COMMANDMENTS are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world— our faith.” 1 John 5:2-4

    And this verse, again, emphasis added,
    “And this is love, that we walk according to his COMMANDMENTS; this is the ***commandment***, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.” 2 John 1:6

    Are you saying that when these verses refer to commandments (plural) that they are simply referring to the two commandments spoken by Jesus in Matthew 22? To love God and love others?

    Awaiting reply to continue…

    • John doesn’t say which commandments. So you, as the reader, have (or get) to decide.

      Some posters have a problem with the phrase “pick and choose.” Personally, as already beautifully explained by Kellie, I think it aptly describes what every reader of the Scritpures actually does. We interpret the Scriptures as a whole and figure out what applies to us today and what doesn’t. Maybe people don’t like the phrase because they think it implies picking and choosing portion of Scripture to apply (or not apply) willy-nilly. Maybe we can come up with a better name for what it is we all do.

      What I find funny is that in the post, we have many people who have read Leviticus and apply it differently. I assume all of the posters are passionate, dedicated followers of Christ. I assume all love God and desire to walk in his ways. But here is the funny part: even RS and DeeAnna seem to depart on what parts of Leviticus apply to our lives today. It seems DeeAnna says it is ok for me to touch and sleep with my wife during her period. She may be right, but the verses she quotes of Jesus touching an unclean woman don’t seem to say anything about me having sex with my wife while she is on her period, so I think maybe her reasoning on this one is a little iffy. RS says she would stay away. If we just stick with the words in Leviticus, I would say she is right.

      And then RS says she doesn’t eat lobster. I have a good friend who is a messianic Jew who believes none of us should eat lobster. And we need to follow all of the dietary codes, not blend fabrics, etc. And she is a dedicated follow of Jesus. So there you have it. Who is right? RS? DeeAnna? My messianic Jewish friend? Or I am free, as a follower of Christ, to read the Scriptures and allow the Lord to show me how they apply to my particular situation here in the USA in 2012?

      Finally, I am wondering if it is ok to get a tattoo. Leviticus seems to strictly forbid it. Any thoughts?

      Kent

      • By the way, DeeAnna, you said in an earlier post that you already know what I believe on whether homosexual conduct is sinful. Why is it you think you know what I believe on this issue? Have you read my beliefs on this issue? I think you are making a huge assumption if you are guessing what I believe.

      • DeeAnna says:

        Kent,

        Very, very fair to say I don’t actually know what you think. I regret saying that. I ASSUMED I knew. You know what assuming does…

        Here’s what makes me want to bang my head into a wall: I ask a pretty pointed question about one thing, and as a sort of… what?… counter argument?… attempt to discredit my train of thought?…. You bring other things into the discussion, such as whether or not a woman on her period is unclean or if you’re allowed to get tattoos. (BTW, I’m much more blunt with you than I would be with others because I know you and I have the same personality type. And you can take it. I don’t want to be blunt to the point of rude though, so please let me know if I say anything jerky.)

        I know I don’t have much right to complain about the subject being hijacked! I realize I did this myself. I’m happy to discuss the questions, but I’d prefer if we did each one at a time. I really want to go back to the thing I asked you about; the thing you brought up in your discussion with Michael. I want to understand your point of view on THAT, because I feel like it will help me understand your point of view on other things. In short, I’m trying to get a handle on what your views on the Bible are. Currently, I’m baffled and bewildered, and can’t even begin to conceive of what you’re trying to communicate about the Scriptures, your beliefs about its Authority, etc. I’m trying to grab your hand and walk out of the cloud of confusion I’m in.

        Here is what I’m thinking currently: I’m not sure you yourself have a firm grasp on what your Biblical doctrines are. Please don’t mishear me. I’m not saying you don’t have a firm grasp on Christ and the Gospel. I’m not saying you’re a lost soul, or that you need ME to guide you, or anything else that could possibly be read into that sentence. I’m saying: I think you might be wresting with the Old Testament Law, the commandments in the New Testament, Christ’s Love and Grace, and what all of it means together. I think you have a very firm grasp on pieces of the puzzle, but can’t quite see the whole picture and where every piece fits in. This is not a criticism; none of us knows excactly where every piece belongs. Our knowledge is imperfect. So I think you might be looking at the pieces you hold in your hand (especially the commandments), and thinking, “Hmmm… I don’t even think this piece is part of MY puzzle! I can’t see where this fits in. It looks a lot like the pieces on that guy’s puzzle over there. Maybe it’s HIS puzzle piece?”

        And that’s fine. It’s a step in the process. God knows I’ve been through it, and will probably go through it again if I don’t die today! If I don’t see how something applies to me, I tend to think it’s not FOR me.

        What I am proposing, however, is that each piece of the puzzle is necessary. Each piece belongs. Christ’s death on the cross didn’t throw away any of our puzzle pieces. He simply gave us more of the picture, and more pieces to put into our puzzle. I think this is a sort of illustration of what Christ might mean in Matthew 5:18 about no part of the Law disappearing. It’s part of the story; part of the picture.

        And this is the part that’s hard for most people, even Christians, to accept: If we believe that God is love, then we must believe His Law is loving. Yep. Even the parts where adulterous women are stoned to death. (And to go even deeper, I believe every action of God is love too. Even the part where He killed every Egyptian firstborn.) Now, there is a looooong explanation about why Christians don’t stone people, even though the commandments are still in effect. The pieces of the puzzle that Christ provided changed US. It didn’t change God.

        Think about it this way. Sin is something that offends the very nature and character of God Himself. It’s not sin because it offends us humans. Many sins (homosexual acts among them) don’t offend me at all. Or bother me. Or strike me as “bad” or “sinful.” I would never know to think of it as such if the Bible hadn’t told me. It feels instinctually wrong to take a life; other sins are not so obvious to me. So, the Law is full of information about what offends God. What goes against Who He is (and His nature is love, let’s not forget). I don’t question this. I take it for granted, on the authority of the Bible, that the things listed in the Law as sins ARE sins. So, on the other side of the cross, before Christ, all those things listed as sins offended the very nature of God, and this is what made them sinful. Right?

        Okay, so… This side of the cross, what’s changed? Not God. His nature is no different. The things that were once sins are still sins. Christ didn’t change that. He death doesn’t mean that adultry is now somehow less offensive to the nature of God. Adultry was a sin in the OT Law, and it’s still a sin under the New Covenant.

        So, here’s the kicker: (And I’m going to say this is the most dumbed down terms ever, because like I said, I’m an ignorant layman when it comes to this apologetics stuff. Please forgive me for sounding so elementary. I may also misspeak, but I will try to communicate what I know as best I can.) There are different categories of “sin” in the OT. Some things really are sins for the Jews, but not for the Gentiles. Eating shellfish is a perfect example of this. If a pre- Christ Greek ate a lobster, the Greek would not be heaping guilt upon himself. He was not under that Law. But we know that if a pre-Christ Greek killed a man, he WOULD be heaping guilt and sin upon himself. “Thou shalt not murder” is a universal law; “thou shalt not eat shellfish” ain’t.

        There is study after study upon this subject. Christ himself started it. “Let he without sin cast the first stone.” That statement was something NEW. Something different. And the idea did not communicate that the woman had not sinned, or that she had repented of her sins, or that she was already forgiven for the sins she had committed. Jesus didn’t say any of THAT, though he did say he didn’t condemn her to death. So Jesus got the ball rolling on this subject (in more than one interaction!), and we’ve been trying to understand it in the 2000 years since.

        Do I have it all figured out? No. But I’m confident that it DOES make sense, because I’ve never known God to be anything other than logic and wisdom. I have a trust in Him because of this.

        So, Kent, it sounds like you want to go through the OT Laws one by one, asking me which I follow and which I don’t. That, for one thing, sounds exhausting. You’re looking for a place in which my theology is less than honest. You’re looking for holes, right? In an effort to point out to me that your idea of “picking and choosing” is correct.

        I promise you, if we talk long enough you can find at least one area of hypocrisy in my life.

        But what you won’t find is intellectual dishonesty. Any hypocrisy I become aware of is corrected. Any holes in my theology are filled by the ever patient God of the Bible. I knew less last year than I know this year; the same will be true next year too.

        I assure you, Kent, that there are answers to the questions you have about “which laws to follow.” The answer is: All of them, AS INSTRUCTED BY SCRIPTURE. Our job to find out what Scripture instructs, right?? Here’s where using Scripture to interepret Scripture comes into play, and where not allowing any other source to hold authority over God’s own words. So, if my research leads me to conclusions not supported by Scripture, I know my search for answers is not complete.

        I don’t change my opinions on the Scriptures to fit that conclusion which makes most sense to ME.

        I’m not accusing you of being guilty of the above sentence. I’m sharing my philosophy, and why I believe what I believe. I think you’re on the same journey. 🙂

        Thoughts about this book I just wrote? Anything you’d like me to be more specific about? Any of your other previous points you wish to go back and address?

      • DeeAnna says:

        “ohn doesn’t say which commandments. So you, as the reader, have (or get) to decide.”

        Or…

        You use the rest of the books of John, and the rest of Scripture, to figure out what the verse means. This is, assuming of course, that the verse does indeed have actual meaning, and not a vague idea it was “getting at.”

        🙂

      • DeeAnna, you wrote “. . . Even the parts where adulterous women are stoned to death. (And to go even deeper, I believe every action of God is love too. Even the part where He killed every Egyptian firstborn.).” If you really believe stoning women is loving and good and that God murders innocent children, I am deeply worried for you and your family.

      • DeeAnna says:

        Kent,

        I didn’t say you don’t know what your theology is. I said you don’t *seem to* know exactly where the commandments fit into the puzzle. I said you, like everybody else, know what you know, and you don’t know anything beyond that. I really don’t know why that’s offensive. Granted, I’m pretty clueless when it comes to social interactions.

        And you twisted my words. I didn’t say that God murders babies and that I would be committing an act of love if I stoned a woman to death. I said I believe God is love, and that every part of the Bible fits into that definition. I don’t have to “toss out” any part of it, or redefine it, to allow it to fit MY definiton of love. How many times have I heard it said, “A loving God can’t ______. ” Fill in the blank. “A loving God can’t kill all the Egyptian firstborn and claim to be loving.” My point? He is, and he did, and I still believe he’s loving, even if he does stuff that doesn’t fit my imperfect definition of the word “love.”

        I, simply put, don’t get to define LOVE. God defines it; I trust HIM.

        Not sure why you’re worried about my family; rest assured I’m not without sin and won’t be casting any stones. But thank you, Kent, for yet again attacking me as a wife and a mom.

        I can’t believe you went there AGAIN.

        Please note that I said something that wasn’t intended to offend or attack you. It wasn’t intended to convey any judgment or ill thoughts about you. It was my defense of MY faith; an explanation of how and why I think the Law belongs in my puzzle and every other Christian’s puzzle. It was an attempt to get you to consider my point of view as valid, rather than having you call me a hypocrite at every turn.

        Instead of gracefully allowing these points to be discussed between the two of us, or just agreeing to disagree, you made a personal attack on my position in my family. I’m deeply offended by you saying you’re afraid for my family because *I* am my kid’s mother and Michael’s wife.

        I hope you know that wasn’t loving, which is what you claim you wish to be.

        I’m very much trying to refrain from letting my emotions get the best of me. It’s the lowest blow I can think of, and btw, not the first time you’ve used it on me. It’s very much a source of hurt for me.

        So, here is my perception of what’s happened. I know there are two sides to every story, and that my perception is never fully “right.” So I’m going to communicate my persective to you in yet another attempt to open dialogue between the two of us. Note I said “dialogue” NOT “in an attempt to get you to agree with everything I say.” All I want is mutual respect and believing of the best between the two of us. The rest (doctrine) will be sorted out by the Holy Spirit, in His timing, not mine or yours.

        I feel like I asked you a pretty pointed question about why you boil all the commandments down to “love God, love others.” I even thought I was onto something with the idea that you might believe that John was referring to those commandments when he talked about love being obedience to the commandments. I wouldn’t have agreed with that opinion, but it would have at least been an answer to my question. Rather than directly answering it, you threw out more of the commandments that you think I’m a hypocrite for not following, in what I assume is an effort to get me to understand myself what a hypocrite you think I am. When I attempted to explain my perspective on these and other commandments as a whole, you took issue with something I said and attacked me personally while STILL not addressing the questions I had. The whole thing hurts my feelings. I was just trying to discuss points of view about the commandments with you. If you didn’t want to you should have said so. I gave you several opportunities to say you didn’t want to discuss this with me. I would rather not have had the converstation than have either one of us be angry.

        I don’t know Kent. I’m doing my best here. I’m trying really hard. I know these are ddifficult issues to wrestle with, but we don’t need to make them more difficult by attacking each other. I wish to just agree to disagree, but you have so little respect for me and my position that I don’t even feel like we’re at a point where we can do that! I feel like it would be more, “Yes DeeAnna, you can disagree with me and continue being a hypocritical idiot.” THAT’S what I want to move past.

    • RS says:

      [Emphasis mine]

      “Visions of a queer Christ are on the rise as Easter approaches this year — because the conventional Jesus is no longer enough. Christ’s story is for everyone, but lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people get EXCLUDED when conservatives use Christian rhetoric to justify hate and discrimination.” From above article ^

    • RS, this is a ridiculous link. It has absolutely nothing to do with the discussion. You are way off base posting it and introducing it into the discussion. It is inflamatory and irrelevant. Nobody, not a single person on this blog, would advocate such a thing. I am sorry you have stooped to this level. So far, you have consistently misrepresented others comments on this blog, choosing to build up a straw man and then knock it down. Now you drag this absurdity into the discussion. Good grief.

      • RS says:

        Kent, I’m baffled as to why you would consider this irrelevant to the discussion. The link shows the lengths some in the gay community will go to in seeking to redefine Christian beliefs so as to be “inclusive.” I think it shows why Christians often respond as we do to the threading of gay messages into traditional theology.

      • DeeAnna says:

        RS, I’m finding myself agreeing with you less and less. I repeat the criticism that you are indeed making the subject “too big.” All discussions are best held one step at a time.

  45. DeeAnna says:

    Westminster Confession of Faith states it better than I did. This is pretty much what I believe. I know it isn’t what all Christians believe, as all are not Reformists. It’s not a point I insist on agreeance. It is a point I wish to not be called a hypocrite, as it is a sincere belief of mine that the Lord has not led me away from (but rather towards, I believe).

    CHAPTER 19 – Of the Law of God

    19.1 God gave to Adam a law, as a covenant of works, by which he bound him and all his posterity to personal, entire, exact, and perpetual obedience, promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the and endued him with power and ability to keep it.

    19.2 This law, after his fall, continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness; and, as such, was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai, in ten commandments, and written in two tables: the four first commandments containing towards God; and the other six, our duty to man.

    19.3 Beside this law, commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel, as a church under age, ceremonial laws, several typical ordinances, partly of worship, prefiguring actions, sufferings, and benefits; and partly, holding forth of moral duties. All which ceremonial laws are now abrogated, under the new testament.

    19.4 To them also, as a body politic, he gave sundry judicial laws, which expired together with the state of that people; not obliging any further than the general equity thereof may require.

    19.5 The moral law doth forever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof; and that, not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the authority of God the Creator, Neither doth Christ, in the gospel, any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation.

    19.6 Although true believers be not under the law, as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified, or condemned; yet is it of great use to them, as well as to others; in that, as a rule of life informing them of the will of God, and their duty, it directs and binds them to walk accordingly; discovering also the sinful pollutions of their nature, hearts, and lives; so as, examining themselves thereby, they may come to further conviction of, humiliation for, and hatred against sin, together with a clearer sight of the need they have the perfection of his obedience. It is likewise of use to the restrain their corruptions, in that it forbids sin: and the serve to show what even their sins deserve; and what afflictions, in this life, they may expect for them, although freed from the curse thereof threatened in the law. The promises of it, in like manner, show them God’s approbation of obedience, and what blessings they may expect upon the performance thereof: although not as due to them by the law as a covenant of works. So as, a man’s doing good, and refraining from evil, because the law encourageth to the one, and deterreth from the other, is no evidence of his being under the law; and, not under grace.

    19.7 Neither are the forementioned uses of the law contrary to the grace of the gospel, but do sweetly comply with it; the Spirit of Christ enabling the will of man to do that freely, and cheerfully, which God, revealed in the law, requireth to be done.

  46. DeeAnna says:

    And please note that this (above) is a discussion of OT commandments only, not in any way dealing with New Covenant instructions. Paul, Peter, John, etc all had much to say about how we ought to behave, and it is much more than the 10 Commandments. And I believe the New Convenant is quite in keeping with the Old; like I said, God didn’t change.

  47. DeeAnna says:

    To put it yet another way (really trying to get you to understand me here):

    *I* don’t “pick and choose” which Commandments apply to me. I follow all of God’s Commandments, per every word in the Scriptures, as God commands I follow them. In other words it’s *God* who directs me via His commands, not my own will.

    • Here’s the thing, each of us here believes that we are allowing God, the Holy Spirit and the Bible to lead us and yet ech here has a different idea as to what that looks like. You say that you are following all God’s commands as he directs and say that you are not picking and choosing, yes? When I say “picking and choosing” I don’t mean taking an exacto knife the my Bible. I mean we (all of us here) read and study and pray and interpret what I am reading and that in the end … On several things, we disagree. You see it one way, I see it another. Who is correct? We will know someday. But to say the way I or Kent or Kellie or Claire see what it means to love God is somehow arrived at because of confusionor wanting to believe it is a certain way feels a touch condescending.
      On another point, I personally don’t believe God sees killing people via storms or plagues or wars as loving . I just don’t. It is too big a topic to discuss here and now (as I am typing on my phone in the hall at the summit). But you might check out the book Blue Parakeet to get an idea of how I look at these difficult passages.
      M

      • DeeAnna says:

        Michelle,

        I must yet again apologize for my words conveying condescention. I don’t in any way, shape, or form feel superior to you, nor would I want to patronize you. Or Kent. Or anyone’s ideas as they have posted them here.

        I repeat the thought that the only reason I made a defense regarding the idea of picking and choosing is because *I* was offended by the insenuation that I am a hypocrite (or maybe just plain ignorant) for believing that *I* don’t “pick and choose.” I wished to defend my faith, not attack yours. My request, as stated, is to agree that people who differ from you on that subject aren’t hypocrites. I was trying to get you to understand my view, not agree with it.

        I DON’T think you’re confused. I’m not sure where that came from. As for “wanting to beleive it is a certain way,” I apologize again if this is off base; it’s what picking and choosing implies to me. More than happy to have the education if this is not the case. And again, even the conclusion was not arrived at with condescention or intention of judging on my part. As I said earlier in an email to you, you have many many qualities which I do not have that I quite admire and look up to. That is the opposite of condescention, I believe. I don’t have to agree with you on every point to admire your qualities and your heart.

        I respect your sentence, “I personally don’t believe God sees killing people via storms or plagues or wars as loving.” I appreciate you stating your belief on that emphatically. It’s nice when I can actually understand what someone is communicating to me, and not have to rely on my own misguided assumptions. I really, really appreciate it. We don’t agree; I believe God was just as loving when He sent the Egyptian plagues as He was when He sent Christ to die for us. As I said, I know that is an unpopular, hard to accept belief, but nonetheless it is mine and (I believe) has Biblical merit. But I don’t blame anyone whose stomach is turned by that statement; as I said, I believe it is hard for us to comprehend God’s love fully. I certainly don’t understand all He does!

        I only replied in order to apologize and clarify some things. I really won’t be coming back. I don’t feel that my views are welcomed. I do feel as though they’ve been labeled hypocritical, unloving, and as you said condescending, despite my best efforts to communicate that I wish to be the opposite of all of those things and have never claimed to be perfect at it. This really does seem to be a forum for some ideas and not others. That’s okay. It’s your blog. You’re a lovely writer, and curious about so many things, which I love about you. It’s something I didn’t know we had in common, and I’m quite happy to find we do. I hope you are blessed by doing this Michelle, and that others are blessed through you. I think I’m just not meant to be one of them.

        Much love though.

        • RS says:

          DeeAnna, did I just read rightly (in my email inbox) that you’re leaving this thread?

          I just want you to know that your presence will be missed, if you do. Let me be forthright here. I think you’re a little too hard on yourself. I consider you to be an exceptionally congenial person, who is sensitive to others, and someone who has a lot of love in her heart.

          Whether you “agree” or “disagree” with me, that’s not what forms my opinion of you. Just seeing you doing your best to question, understand, and find harmony was touching, and I just want you to know I believe you deserve more credit than you will ever give yourself. So please be gentle on our friend DeeAnna…you’re great.

          Stick around if you can…..whether you do or don’t, God bless thee…continuously…

          (o:

      • Briefly-

        Tsunamis are Loving because they are caused by the hot core of the Earth, which also causes its magnetic field, which protects against solar radiation and allows life to exist.

        Stoning is loving in a subsistence economy, because imprisonment means preventing a man and his family from feeding himself, as does whipping or mutilation- loving for the individual punished- and because it puts the guilt on the whole community, rather than on one executioner. And it deters. It would not be loving in modern America, but it was loving in the time it was written.

        Making adultery punishable by death- not sure about that one, again not loving in modern America.

  48. DeeAnna says:

    Which is why I’m not perfect. If the only thing to obey was my own conscience, my own will about what applies to me, I would be perfectly capable of doing that. This goes back to what you and I were discussing, Clare, about an external set of morals and having no authority in and of myself.

    See how one part of my theology feeds into the next? This is why this is such a broad topic of posts, I think.

  49. RS says:

    DeeAnna, you wrote, “RS, I’m finding myself agreeing with you less and less. I repeat the criticism that you are indeed making the subject “too big.” All discussions are best held one step at a time.”

    I consider that a VALID argument, DeeAnna. The subject of gay/Christian relations is a very broad one, actually, BUT the title of the thread is certainly much more specific: why do Christians shun (or “curse”) the Day (of Silence). I think we actually boycott it. And just one point: we can’t have a “moment of silence” in which students can either pray (to anyone of their choice, by the way) or meditate or simply collect their thoughts without it angering those without faith. But a Day of Silence for something traditional (and original) thinkers of our faith cannot support wholeheartedly is somehow expected of us. But there again, that may be making the discussion too big.

    I don’t know if THIS link was ignored because it was assumed that it would be “inflammatory” (Kent’s word for the other one) or simply off-topic (not specific enough), but I’ll include it again because in fact it is VERY specific to the discussion on Levitical Law and Homosexuality, AND…it’s only ONE minute long. It does express my view on this subject, again, far more eloquently than I could. I hope you and others here will just take one minute to hear it. Thanks.

  50. A thought experiment: sin is disgusting. Hearing that someone has, say, stolen loo rolls from work is dispiriting. Murder is a horror. Adultery too is disgusting.

    For those who imagine that gay sex per se is always sinful, think for a moment about that sex, which some find an expression of their love as a loving couple. If you find the sex in itself more disgusting than the thought of sex which is adultery between people you do not know, then ask yourself whether your energy in condemning/ judging/ stating that the thing is sinful without condemning or judging/ whatever comes from that aversion, rather than care that God’s word is preached.

    • RS says:

      Clare, I think that even some people who are engaged in adultery consider it “beautiful.” Perhaps they feel they are with their soul-mates and “how could something that feels so pure ever be wrong?” But I just have to differ with that, though I know, from my own personal experience, how compelling the argument that it “couldn’t be wrong” was, at one time, within myself, when tempted into an extramarital affair. I think that part of “loving God first and foremost” means living a life of holiness, even if it means self-denial when something or someone is basically forbidden to us. I think God sees that and honors that, and great good can come from that unwillingness to sin as HE considers sin to be.

      • With respect, I do not think you have answered my question. Do you find the thought of two men mutually masturbating each other more disgusting than two unmarried people having sex in the missionary position? If so, is it your aversion to gay sex rather than your concern for the Word of God which makes you condemn the gay men?

        And- I accept that living a life of holiness means self-denial, but it is one thing to practise self-denial out of a belief that celibacy is morally better than sex, and another to preach self-denial to gay men from within a loving relationship sanctioned by the human institution of your church.

  51. RS says:

    Clare, you wrote: “Do you find the thought of two men mutually masturbating each other more disgusting than two unmarried people having sex in the missionary position?” Yeah, I’ll admit I am more repulsed by the former than the latter. But I consider both sins. When I see movies (almost all, nowadays) with sex treated very casually – i.e., first encounters!, I am revulsed, and a little angry that so many tweens will be watching these movies, thinking it is not only cool, but expected, of them to engage in premarital sex, quite possibly on their very first date. AND, I find it sad, too. Yes, if you want an admission from me, Clare, that I find heterosexuality far more palatable or just superior to homosexuality, yes, I honestly do feel that way. But despite that, I’ll admit that I do find the idea of married gay sex far preferable to gay promiscuity. Once people are married, I tend to “close those doors” of privacy — thinking that whatever they do behind those closed doors (as long as it’s between consenting adults and no one is getting hurt) none of my business. When it gets to be an in-your-face, what I consider “vulgarity” — I mind very much. Those are my feelings, but…again, it’s not up to me. I think Scripture is plain enough on those matters, including the New Covenant writings of Paul, in Romans 1. So maybe revulsion is appropriate, given that it is considered sinful. Would that revulsion be there without my knowing the words of Scripture about it? I can’t say because I have no idea what that would be like. I once saw two girls kissing in high school. This was before I ever read the Bible. I was intrigued by the unusualness of it, and wasn’t particularly revulsed, either. But I did feel that they were a bit confused, and confusing each other in the process.

    • RS says:

      I realize I didn’t answer your second question: “is it your aversion to gay sex rather than your concern for the Word of God which makes you condemn the gay men?”

      I don’t feel that I condemn anyone. I feel that God’s word has gone out into the world and we have to treat it with the utmost regard.

      As Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to SAVE the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a JUDGE; the WORD that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”

      If Jesus is, as mainstream Christians believe, the son of the living God, the Word made flesh, the Rock, as Paul writes, which the ancient Israelites knew, then there is no disparity, no theological dissonance between the words of God in the OT and the words of God in the NT.

      So honestly, personal preferences aside, I really do not condemn anyone. I’m just trying to understand the WORD of God. If we live against those words, especially consciously, and with rebellion in our hearts, then we are condemned, but not by eachother, by the ONE who spoke those words.

      That’s really how I see it.

      In a nutshell, I’m not fond of a variety of things, but my personal preferences for certain things over other things is not what determines the intrinsic value of those things that I don’t PREFER, and that’s how I look at preferences in general.

      • Oh Dear..

        I have let you off the hook. My own stupid fault.

        I will rephrase.

        Is it possible that your aversion to the gay sex affects the amount of time you devote to debating buggery here or elsewhere, or the time or energy you devote to contemplating a “sin” you do not find tempting at all? Even though you would never condemn it, oh no, not in a million years?

  52. Michael Ownby says:

    Kent…

    “DeeAnna, you wrote “. . . Even the parts where adulterous women are stoned to death. (And to go even deeper, I believe every action of God is love too. Even the part where He killed every Egyptian firstborn.).” If you really believe stoning women is loving and good and that God murders innocent children, I am deeply worried for you and your family.”

    Uncalled-for, bro! I hope you didn’t mean this the way it comes across. I’m sure Dee has stuck her foot in her mouth plenty through-out this comment thread, but regardless, this was out of line. I appreciate your concern but it is unnecessary. Dee is an amazing wife & mother and bottom-line… The Scripture says that GOD IS LOVE. Therefore, by default everything he does is loving. You either trust the Scriptures or you don’t but that’s what they communicate. Our understanding of “love” is warped. We must look to/ trust the Scriptures to define love for us. I don’t understand how everything that God did in the OT was loving but I believe that it was because if GOD IS LOVE then it would impossilbe for him to be/ do anything unloving. I don’t see the big picture the way HE does. I trust HIM and HIS Scriptures.

    Let’s keep personal attacks out of this from now on, bro…

    Thanks!

    • Michael, I just ran across your comment on Michelle’s blog when I was looking for something else. I jumped off that particular post some time before you posted this (and Dee posted a few replies) … there was just too much going on to keep up with everything and the posts often aren’t in order for some reason. Anyhow, I didn’t see my comment to Dee as a personal attack at all. Rather, it was a comment made to show that she (and you, and anybody else who says it) doesn’t really believe it, because she doesn’t actually practice it. People say, “Well, if God did it, it must be loving,” but they really don’t think through what that actually means. And they don’t really believe what they are saying. If anybody actually did, they would act accordingly and the world would look very different. Thus, if any of you actually started doing what the Bible says to do, you would be stoning your children, stoning adulterers, etc. Nobody does that today. Thus, I made my comment in that context, saying “If you really believe stoning women is loving and good and that God murders innocent children (which is what Dee said were the “loving” acts of God), I am deeply worried for you and your family,” because that would mean she would start stoning you, the kids, etc. Obviously I didn’t mean it literally. I communicated what I meant poorly, and I apologize to you and ask you to forgive me.

      Dee, I am sorry for offending you and making you feel bad. Please forgive me. I know you love your family, which was why I was trying to make the point that even though you say you believe that action is loving, you don’t really believe it, or you would do it today. Now listen, if you want to say it is loving because God did it, that is your choice, but I would argue God didn’t murder any children, or anyone, and there is a perfectly good theological argument for understanding any difficult OT texts that may lead some to believe otherwise. It is simply incomprehensible to me that we are to simultaneously believe that God is love and good and kind and compassionate and at the same time kills young innocent children and endorses genocide. Indeed, Jesus is the exact representation of God, and in Him we see that he lays down his life for humanity. God isn’t some angry being who just wipes people out. Rather, he is a loving creator who saves. Jesus makes known God. Jesus makes known the Father. And Jesus didn’t endorse murdering or killing anyone. Rather, he lays down his life for others (none of whom are deserving) and asks us to do the same. I know at this point you don’t agree with my view, but I ask you to consider that maybe, just maybe, you are interpreting the OT Scriptures incorrectly and maybe your view of God in this area is incorrect.

      I love you guys and it saddens me greatly that you have become so bitter toward me and have chosen to “de-friend” my wife. But I want you to know that I still love you, that I am not judging you, and I pray for you often. You always say that you aren’t perfect and blow it all the time, but you seem to be unwilling to recognize that me and Michelle are just like you. We are passionate and bold and sometimes blow it badly. But is that a reason to completely cut us off and end the friendship? You may choose to cut yourselves off from us, but we absolutely will not close the door to you, and you are always welcome in our church, our home, and our lives.

      Kent

      • RS says:

        Can I just say that I don’t really understand why it is incomprehensible that God would kill anyone.

        I know that if a potter makes a vessel, that potter also has the right to break it. That is creative control. That potter can also take all those broken pieces, before they have been “fired” in the kiln, and grind them fine, and adding water, make them into clay which is like new…which the potter can then shape into a new form…

        If a human potter can do this, why is it hard to understand that God can do this?

        When God takes a life………He can recreate that life….if He chooses.

        God did kill, and sent the Israelites to kill, and this is declared boldly in the OT. If He wasn’t really God at all, that would be a different matter entirely.

        And God will kill, Jesus told us so, the OT prophets, too. And there’s no point in dancing around the obvious and pretending it isn’t there.

        Along with this creative control, though, God is also just.

        Hard truths perhaps, but it would be even kinder to misrepresent this aspect of God’s nature. As Paul wrote, “behold the kindness and the severity of the Lord.”

        Romans 11:20 and 22: “Do not become proud but fear . . . behold the kindness and the severity of God.”

        Hebrews 10:31: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

        Love to all…………………………..

      • RS says:

        In my post below, there is a serious typo: SHOULD read, “It would be more unkind to misrepresent this aspect of God’s nature.”

  53. RS says:

    Clare, you wrote: “Is it possible that your aversion to the gay sex affects the amount of time you devote to debating buggery here or elsewhere, or the time or energy you devote to contemplating a “sin” you do not find tempting at all? Even though you would never condemn it, oh no, not in a million years?”

    Let me rephrase your question. It’s kinda dripping with sarcasm, you’ve gotta admit.
    I think what you’re asking me is WHAT is motivating me at all to debate about gay sex (buggery in UK slang) when I’m not even tempted by it myself. Is it my aversion that’s driving my spending hours online here and elsewhere?

    Phrased that way, it’s a valid question. WHY have I, a somewhat natural activist, taken to debating DOS or other issues around gay sex. I do have other things I would rather be doing, actually. Many. Sometimes I find the whole topic and exercise of debate very draining. What motivates me?

    I think that once I became aware of how dangerous it was to allow gays to basically make children (and adults, too) think that if you disagree with any part of their agenda you are a “homophobe,” I knew I had to stand against that. When I saw that that term, “homophobia” was all-inclusive of anything NOT affirming and applauding of gayness, I knew this was wrong.

    Because I could see where that could easily go and actually, has gone. It meant that IF you can define opposition to homosexuality as “homophobia” for a nation, AND that nation’s main religious view is JudeoChristian, then you are in effect saying that the SOURCE of homophobia is the Bible, and…it can be “cut off” at the source. Because there is no greater opposition to homosexuality than the words found in the Bible itself.

    IF God had said something along the lines of ‘be fruitful and multiply, those of you who are that way, and enjoy yourself freely, those of you who find your own sex preferable….IF God had said that, all us Christians would be saying to ourselves and each other: “Well, apparently this is fine with God. So…if it’s fine with Him, it’s fine with me!” We would.

    But we know it didn’t transpire that way. And even though Mark Morford, publishing on April 11th, 2012, in the San Francisco Chronicle, wrote that it is a “vile falsehood” to think/write/believe/say “that gay love is an abomination,” we as Christians KNOW that what he is actually saying is that the Scripture which calls “gay love” an “abomination” is a “vile falsehood.”

    Who is teaching falsehood? God’s word, or Mark Morford?

    According to Mark Morford, such language could only stem from a homophobic mind. This is the intention: to make us believe, all of us, that IF you disagree with homosexuality, you are a homophobe. And if you are, you should not be allowed to spread your homophobia. So homophobia needs to be made illegal. Is this not really plain? Can you not even understand why this would be concerning to a conservative Christian?

    I don’t really believe that God’s word will be stifled forever. I think, reading Daniel, and my own interpretation (which could be faulty, IDK) is that there will be a time (possibly to come) in which the government (maybe not just ours, but perhaps a coalition of governments) could war against the saints and prevail to the point of outlawing Christianity or Judaism or both. If they prevail, and they could, if I understand Daniel’s vision, then it will only be for a short while…but those will be dark days.

    I’m here now, this is my “watch” as a Christian, and if I DON’T take time out from preferred, more pleasurable activities to stand against this rising tide, then I will feel as though I wasted a lot of time…that I will have to account for someday.

    That is my motivation.

    It’s not any aversion to gay sex that drives me. That would not be enough, no. It is the reach of gay activism which I find very concerning. Yes, our religious liberties are on the line. For those who find this simply reactionary, “Chicken Littleist”, please just remember, when the tide gets higher and higher, that other Christians have been warning of this for some time.

    • Thank you for answering my question. And “preach against” might be a better phrase for me to use than condemn.

      To summarise the argument:

      I believe that being gay is innate, rather than a choice, and so less clearly contemnible;

      I believe, with Mark Morford, that because being gay is innate, aversion to a person for himself as God created him, gay, is like aversion for a person because he is black. An abomination in the sight of the Lord.

      I believe that Scripture does not condemn gay sex, but particular kinds of gay sex- eg, gang rape, or the use of slave prostitutes- which would be sinful if heterosexual.

      I suspect that some of the passion in preaching against gay sex comes from disgust at the thought of gay sex. (Buggery is an ordinary English word, not slang, just like “fortnight” is).

      I want to expand my argument that “preaching against” a sin you are not tempted to is a bad thing, with a concrete example. I am not working at the moment. I am not supporting myself, for certain reasons; I consider that is hamartia, missing the target, not being as good as I could be. That- judgment- is my moral decision. What I want from the Christians in my congregation is support in my own growth towards God’s ideal, rather than condemnation. Carrots, not sticks. I think this is good management as well: how may we help this worker to improve, rather than how may we terrify him into improving? If you consider the specks in your eye, and want to discuss them with me, I will seek to help you to overcome them. If you, apropos of nothing at all, start to talk of something in me and not in you which you consider sinful and I do not, I am just not interested.

      • RS says:

        Well, Clare, if I believed as you do…that God created certain people to be gay, then I would probably feel much the way you do. But I think that’s a consciously-pursued strategy rather than a reality. If a person can contend that they are “born” a certain way, telling them they shouldn’t be that way is as futile as requiring a giraffe to be a hippopotamus.

        There is no evidence that I know of to support that. I do think that if there were, it should have surfaced by now.

        Before psychotherapy for gayness was aborted, some progress had been made in identifying certain common patterns.

        But going back to Scripture:

        “22. You shall not lie down with a male, as with a woman: this is an abomination.

        24. You shall not defile yourselves by any of these things, FOR THE NATIONS, whom I am sending away from before you, HAVE DEFILED THEMSELVES with all these things:
        25. And the land became defiled, and I visited its sin upon it, and the land vomited out its inhabitants.”
        [Leviticus 18]

        If what YOU say is true, how do you deal with the cognitive dissonance that “God” would have to be…to be blunt…a lying egomaniac? Because if He CREATES men who need/want to lie with other men (as men lie with women) and YET rejects them…wouldn’t that have be pretty cruel of Him?

        How do you, Clare, personally reconcile that?

        As to your other point, I’ve already explained what drives me to participate in blogs regarding this subject, and why. Your point seems to be that if I’m not tempted to be gay, then I shouldn’t even be addressing the issue. Because gay activism (such as it’s been successful so far) affects me and my world, I think that’s enough of a reason for me to voice my opinion.

        Of course, I believe that if someone doesn’t want gay feelings and comes to the church wanting help with that, the church should do all within its power to help that person. I just equate denial of the sin aspect of homosexuality with telling a person with a, say, bleeding wound, that since there is nothing really wrong, no procedures are necessary. I don’t see how that is helping them at all. The role of the church includes having the courage to call something by its name. You can’t help a person in the throes of adultery if you tell them there is really no sin in that. It’s that simple.

      • RS, you don’t believe that people are created gay, despite all the evidence. Is the Royal College of Psychiatrists a conspiracy of Devil-enslaved liars, RS? Really? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality#Etiology You deny Truth, despite all the evidence of your senses: the evidence about the Biblical texts is laid out on this blog. So, you commit the sin against the Holy Spirit. And if you want to call that a judgment, that is fine by me.

        I hate what you say, and I hate you for insisting on it despite the evidence, because of all the pain and suffering you cause. The pain and suffering of all those children, which you seek to continue. Your insistance that homosexuality is sinful is indeed an abomination before God.

        • RS says:

          I’m very sure of my understanding of the Biblical text, Clare; I believe it’s you who are in serious denial of the truth.

          As far as your comment about openly hating me (really?) and blaming me for the suffering of children (seriously?) — well, I guess I should really rejoice at what can only be called “persecution” for simply standing with the words of the LORD. If I’m wrong (and I don’t believe I am), He will reprimand me at the Judgment. I feel sure, however that He will quite understand why I’ve taken His words to heart.

          I forgive you for hating me. It surprises me, but doesn’t harm me. But you should not let hate fester within you. It’s just not worth it.

          Shalom

      • I do not want your forgiveness. I want your repentance.

        As for letting hatred fester, the problem is that we internalise it. Society, kyriarchy, enforces a restrictive view of “Normality”, intolerant of ordinary human diversity- it is not so bad for black people as it was forty years ago- the victims internalise the idea that their characteristic which is not accepted is a bad thing. So women, the victims, are oppressed by the beauty myth, and oppress themselves.

        In the same way, gay people and trans folk internalise the hatred, and try to appear “normal”. We get depressed, we repress ourselves, we turn the anger inwards. It is a good system of social control which has been perverted to bad ends, controlling things which need not be controlled.

        Admitting my anger to you, stating it forcefully, is a stage in my recovery.

        And- God be praised! Oppression which has eaten at the heart of society, corrupting it- oppression of women, of black people, of Jews, of LGBT people, of foreigners, is in our time being rolled back, counteracted. People are finding freedom, RS! There is nothing you in your ignorance can do to stop it.

        I want your repentance, because I want you to choose Life!

        • RS says:

          Clare, my “ignorance”, as you call it. is based on the plain reading of the Biblical texts in Leviticus 18 and Romans 1, as well as a few other passages. You attempted to show that Leviticus 18 no longer applies to us today; I heard your argument, but I’m convinced and satisfied that it outlines God’s moral law for Jews and the nations, or Gentiles, for all time. I do not believe He changed His mind. Jesus told us we will be judged by the word of God, as given by the Father.

          I am FOR the loving treatment of all peoples, everywhere. I just disagree with you on the interpretation of the text, and I see no reason to adopt your view. I disagree on how love is best expressed. You want something to be rubberstamped out of notions of “love” which I know shouldn’t be, and I know that this refusal is really out of love! We’re simply at a stalemate.

          As far as your link, after 1973. and activist Frank Kameny’s “victory”, the APA revised its position on homosexuality, completely under duress. That can be researched and proven. Psychiatry worldwide has adopted that position and couldn’t recant now if it wanted to. Nonetheless, “they” still don’t carry the moral weight that God’s words do. There are psychiatrists today who would say that the Prophets were only schizophrenics with delusions of grandeur. I really am not going to base my opinions on the words of men over God anyway, nor should any believer.

          I think I know how children are being harmed, and the confusion that will only mushroom from the approach you have aligned yourself with.

          The rhetoric that those of us who stick with God’s immutable words are bullies and hatemongers just doesn’t stick, no matter how much it’s flung.

          Clare, it saddens me that I’ve caused any hurt or anger in you. Surely you know that such was never my intention. But only my capitulation to your beliefs will satisfy you, and that is not something I can, in my own conscience, do. The Lord offers the way of healing and salvation; there is no other.

    • RS, I know many Christians who stand up and declare that they believe that homosexuality is a sin, but never get declared a homophobic person. A few that even live in San Francisco. People that get accused of homophobia just can’t seem to get that through their head. It is the way they are presenting their belief, not the belief itself.

      I have faced some crazy things in my life from the ultra-gay activist side of things. Your description of “gay activism” makes me chuckle a bit. I have had a gay person tell me that he wouldn’t blame me if I hated all gay people once he heard my stories. There are some very militant, anti-Christian fringes in the gay community. Some of my formerly-gay friends can’t even tell their stories because of death threats they have received from these fringes. These people have been actively and secretly pushing for the stuff you say is going to happen for decades now… but are still getting no where. The vast majority of the gay community is usually what blocks them. The gay community as a whole would never support what you are talking about here. I have had a large number of gay friends and co-workers through the years, so I know this for a fact. So I do feel you are being Chicken-Littleist, mainly because I know for a fact that some of the activism that is out there is much worse than you even know and has been around for a long time, but it is also getting no where because it is also rejected by the vast majority of the gay community.

      • RS says:

        Matt, I’ve no doubt that your experience with gay activism is far more extensive and grittier than my own. (It would have to be.)

        I also realize that activism may not, in general, really reflect the desires and intentions of the whole group on whose behalf it is purported to be working.

        But I do think that as long as there are people who are willing to spearhead, go out on a limb, be the Supreme Court test-case, rouse the masses, etc.,the more subdued, if you will, people within that group will silently cheer, in order to reap the benefits of, say, laws which would impact them personally and favorably. They may eschew the manner in which certain “reforms” are made, but be glad enough if those strategies actually “work.”

        I do appreciate the fact that in the UK, Peter Tatchell came out against a section of the Public Order Act, which he rightly considers “draconian,” and which has been used against preachers, as well.

        http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/01/17/comment-repeal-the-public-order-acts-sweeping-section-5/

        I recognize that one cannot broadbrush the whole of people identifying as gay with one stroke.

        And I’m not surprised that there are “very militant, anti-Christian fringes in the gay community.” I’ve seen a little of that, and it is shocking. You write that “These people have been actively and secretly pushing for the stuff you say is going to happen for decades now… but are still getting no where.” But is that accurate?

        I think what is happening is that we are all, unsuspecting gays included, slowly, but surely being conditioned away from innate reservations and becoming more and more inured to standards of conduct which are slipping ever downward.

        Consider just the recently formed group, CCOKC. The acronyym stands for Child Celebrities Opposing Kirk Cameron. Their video, though intending to go for the humorous, is, at the very least, tasteless, at worst, vulgar.

        http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31749_162-57413845-10391698/kirk-cameron-targeted-by-former-child-stars-in-new-funny-or-die-video/

        It would not have even aired, I’m sure, a decade ago.

        Where is all of that loosening of restraint taking us, as a society, as a culture? We are slowly but surely moving towards the kind of culture which those “ultra-gay activists” you mention will feel more at home in. The rate of the decline may be in question, but not its trajectory.

        Whatever happened to the more common feeling that “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people”? [Proverbs 14:34] Where is America’s moral standing in the world today?

        The problem is not limited to gay sex; it is one of sexual immorality in ALL its variants. Leviticus 18 lists the various kinds of depravities people had fallen into in the ancient world, As a passage, there is no ambiguity there.

        I think the “lawlessless” [iniquity] that Jesus and Paul predicted for the end-times is ever increasing, and I do blame, to a large degree, the modern church, which promotes a version of grace (mercy) that pretends that God’s laws have been abolished.

        So I don’t think it’s Chicken-Littleist to see that standards have fallen and are falling still. I think it’s just common sense.

        This is why I wholeheartedly believe that parents should NOT allow GLSEN, the mastermind behind “Day of Silence,” any influence over their children’s morals. A boycott has been soundly called for, and I support that.

      • Oh, and-

        RS, thanks for the link to the CCOKC video. It was brilliant! It was funny, it was truthful, it was on the side of the Light- I am sorry that it did not get through to you. I hope that the truth, someday, will.

        • RS says:

          Side of the “Light?” It was crude, vulgar, puerile, and distasteful. It only highlights Kirk Cameron’s maturity and moral integrity by contrast, though!

  54. Don’t know where to stick in my two cents about anything now, so I’ll have to stick it here. I still think it is not a good idea to use “pick and choose.” No one likes to be accused of “picking and choosing” scriptures. We all take a little (or a lot) of offense at it. I was just around a large number of little kids this weekend. When one calls another “stinky poopie head” and that one gets upset by it, we don’t turn around and say “well, we are all just stinky poopie heads” do we? “Pick and choose” and “ignoring scripture” are pretty much insult language now, so why turn it around and apply it to all? Why take something meant as an insult or a demeaning comment and turn it around and apply it to all?

    I still believe that even if a scripture doesn’t apply to me, that there is something for me to learn from it. Every single time I have doubted that and challenged God on a specific weird scripture, He has proven me wrong. Most Christians I know are the same way. That is just the opposite of picking and choosing.

    BTW Michelle – when I said “I don’t always agree with the logic she uses” – I hope that didn’t come across as an insult or anything. I think you have used a great deal of logic. I follow a different logical path here and there on some of these issues, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with those that differ with me. I meant for it to come across that I respect your (and Kent’s) take on these things, even where our paths might slightly differ. Which is probably not by that much, but I just wanted to make sure that it didn’t come across as a back-handed jab rather than what it was meant to be.

  55. RS says:

    I think I’ve written enough. Made my stand. Expressed my views beyond any doubt. It’s just time to take my leave; I’ve other areas in my life which clamor for my attention, as well.

    You can hate me, disagree vehemently, call me by any epithet you like. The Lord God is my Rock; He does not change. I cling to His words, which no amount of sophistry can blur. They are clear, as He intended them to be. He remains the Father, the One in whom we can trust fully, the only authority on our human condition. He offers healing and salvation through the atonement of His Son, following repentance, the same as yesterday…& it’s the same To-Day, if any will hear His voice.

    May God bless everyone…….Peace….

  56. I too will withdraw.

    I find this too painful. I am quite happy with my interpretation of God’s word, sin and salvation, etc, to know that homosexuality is no more sinful than heterosexuality. I am grateful to you, Michelle, for putting the arguments. I remain deeply hurt by homophobia and transphobia getting its claws into me as a child, and while I am recovering, I see no great benefit in my making the case on blogs in the face of the invincible ignorance of RS and her ilk. Or, for that matter, making the case that I am a woman and a lesbian to those radical feminist lesbians who would assert I am a man. I have to rely on straight Christians making those arguments.

    I think the tide of truth is flowing strongly. Increasingly, Christians and feminists respectively make the argument that I should be accepted as I am, and ignorance recedes. The tide flows from fear to love, from intolerance to welcoming diversity, from slavery to freedom, from bullying to celebrating. And- I am hurt, still, and the falsehoods remind me of my pain.

    I do feel welcome here. I have heard the welcome. And I do not want anyone excluded from here, because it is the Evangelical christians who have to hear the message here and I want them engaged.

    • RS says:

      Thanks for providing the opportunity to dialogue.

      I heard an evangelical theologian once describe the hatred which will come at one from the gay community if one stands their ground on this issue. Having experienced that, I can say conclusively that yes — it’s true — they will most certainly hate you.

      Thanks again…..good-bye.

      • Yes, RS, I do hate you. It is a sign of how badly I have been hurt by the lies you peddle, which have been peddled by so many, for so many years. Thank God that increasing numbers of people are recovering from the hurt, and laughing at the lies. They will not hate, but pity you. I pray that you find the truth. Your conviction that you have found it is what is preventing you from finding it.

        • Clare, I am concerned for you. I have been deleting the comments from this post that show up in my email inbox for some time now, but something drove me to open this one. Why would you tell somebody you hate them? Regardless of RS’s belief on a particular subject that you may disagree with, she is a follower of Christ who is made in the image of God. Each person deserves our love, kindness, and prayers, not our judgment and especially not hate. Please cry out to God, repent, and ask God to fill you will a compassionate and loving heart for those you disagree with. If you are correct in your understanding of homosexuality (and I personally think that the issue is less than perfectly clear and that there are several difficult verses that challenge us all on the subject), you are not going to help anyone see your view if you continue to hate. I love you and am praying that God will grant you a repentant heart and fill you to overflowing with his immeasurable love and kindness.

      • Even as RS “heaps burning coals upon my head” (Proverbs 25 21-22, Romans 12:20) I say, No. The oppression has to stop. Being quite clear, even if arsenokoitai and malakoi together mean absolutely any gay man, ever, and all of them, they are no more immoral in what they do than the straights, and their loving unions should be celebrated and not condemned. If that is what Paul thinks, I do not care. The oppression has to stop.

        I would not care about the filthy lies and rubbish RS spews out if it were not for the echoes it raises in me, of years of oppression, of seeing myself as less than normal, of doing enough self-acceptance to get by. I Hurt. Part of my recovery is telling the truth to such as RS. I am getting better at doing this face to face, as well: it is of course easier by keyboard from another continent, but I am getting so that I can do it face to face. When- soon enough- Christ has healed my hurt, I will be more gentle with such as RS, but know that my loyalty is with the oppressed rather than with the “Christian”. Gay people endure too much. Transsexual people- my lot- endure too much.

        • RS says:

          Clare, I pray that you will forgive me for causing any pain in your life. I think we all bear the responsibility, as believers, for showing God’s love to all who hurt in this world, for whatever reason. I agree with this video…that it is important that Christians do apologize to the homosexual community and ask their forgiveness for our failing to live up to that responsibility at all times…

      • And- having seen blogs where people agree with each other, I am pleased that an extremist such as myself can speak here with those who do not agree.

        Oh, and, Kent- I hear your rebuke, I value it, and I and my Saviour are working out my salvation in our own good time.

        • Clare,

          I appreciate you. I am happy you are sharing your pain with all of us. It is helping us understand this situation better. We love you, without reservation. We love you no matter what. And God loves you. No matter what. I will continue to pray for you, and RS, and the others who are thinking through this difficult topic. We all need God’s forgiveness, mercy, grace, and guidance.

          Peace,

          Kent

      • RS, thank you for the video. It seems to me that Dr. Brown goes a long way: Christians preaching out of their disgust for the physical act, rather than their love of souls, have done a great deal of harm, and I am open to hearing an apology for that. And taking care of their own sins, adultery, divorce, before temptations which do not afflict them, is a good thing too.

        And yet, he does not go the whole way. He still says there is a better way, ie, celibacy or heterosexual marriage, for a gay man who would then feel no sexual attraction for his wife and would not be able, truly, to become one flesh with her, as he could with another man. Insisting on that without disgust or fear, seeing the other as a created human being, is indeed an improvement, but- it misses the target. But then, you disagree, and we can go round and round in circles on that.

    • RS says:

      I have to disagree with Rob Bell. It’s not the first time, either.

      When he writes, “If the gospel isn’t good news for everybody, then it isn’t good news for anybody,” I would tell Rob that his feel-good theology does not always match scripture.

      The good news really isn’t going to be good news for everybody. I’m not writing about gays here, though, okay? I’m just writing in general. I know this thread is specifically about gays and scripture and Day of Silence, but this post jere now of mine is about Rob Bell and his desire to be all-inclusive. Unfortunately for Bell’s ideas in “Love Wins” and here — what Jesus offers will NOT be accepted by everyone and there WILL be ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth’ outside the gates of heaven.

      The good news potentially could be good news for everyone. But the truth in scripture tells us that it won’t be.

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